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Benjamin S. Eaton 

Henry T. Hazard 

Fort Street Home, Harris Newmark, Site of Blanchard Hall; Joseph Newmark 

at the Door 

Calle de los Negros (Nigger Alley), about 1870 

Second Street, Looking East from Hill Street, Early Seventies 

i874l The End of Vasquez 465 

ceremony. The fair bride was Miss Sophie Cahen, and the 
occasion proved one of the very agreeable milestones in an 
interesting and successful career. The first-born of this union, 
Henry M. Newmark, now of Morgan & Newmark, has attained 
civic distinction, being President of the Library Board. 

The reason we journeyed north by stage was to escape 
observation, for since the steamer-service had been so con- 
siderably improved, most of our friends were accustomed to 
travel by water. The Pacific Mail Steamship Company at that 
time was running the Senator, the Pacific, the Orizaba and the 
Mohongo, the latter being the gunboat sold by the Government 
at the end of the War and which remained on the route until 
1877; while the line controlled by Goodall, Nelson & Perkins 
or Goodall, Nelson & Company had on their list the Con- 
stantine, the Kalorama, the Monterey and the San Luis, some- 
times also running the California, which made a specialty of 
carrying combustibles. A year later, the Ancon commenced 
to run between San Francisco and San Diego, and excepting 
half a year when she plied between the Golden Gate and Port- 
land, was a familiar object until 1884. 

The Farmers & Merchants Bank, on June 15th, 1874, moved 
to their new building on the west side of Main Street, opposite 
the Bella Union. 

On July 25th, 1874, Conrad Jacoby commenced in the old 
Lanfranco Building the weekly Sued-Calijornische Post; and for 
fifteen years or more it remained the only German paper 
issued in Southern California. Jacoby' s brother, Philo, was 
the well-known sharpshooter. 

Henry T. Payne, the early photographer, was probably 
the first to go out of town to take views in suburbs then just 
beginning to attract attention. Santa Monica was his favorite 
field, and a newspaper clipping or two preserve the announce- 
ments by which the wet-plate artist stimulated interest in his 
venture. One of these reads : 

Mr. Payne will be at Santa Monica next Sunday, and take 
photographic views of the camp, the ocean, the surrounding 


466 Sixty Years in Southern California [1874 

scenery, and such groups of campers and visitors as may see fit to 
arrange themselves for that purpose; 

while another and rather contradictor}^ notice is as follows: 

To make photographs of moving life, such as Mr. Payne's 
bathing scenes at Santa Monica next Sunday, it is absolutely 
necessary that everybody should keep perfectly still during the 
few seconds the plate is being exposed, for the least move might 
completely spoil an otherwise beautiful effect. Santa Monica, 
with its bathers in nice costume, sporting in the surf, with here 
and there an artistically-posed group basking in the sunshine, 
ought to make a beautiful picture. 

As late as 1874, Fort Street — not yet called Broadway — was 
almost a plain, except for the presence of a few one-story adobe 
houses. J. M. Griffith, the lumberman, put up the first two- 
story frame dwelling-house between Second and Third streets, 
and Judge H. K. S. O'Melveny the second; shortly after which 
Eugene Meyer and myself built our homes in the same block. 
These were put upon the lots formerly owned by Bums & 
Buffum. Within the next two or three years, the west side of 
Fort Street between Second and Third was the choicest residence 
neighborhood in the growing city, and there was certainly not the 
remotest idea at that time that this street would ever be used for 
business purposes. Sometime later however, as I was going 
home one day, I met Griffith and we walked together from 
Spring Street down First, talking about the new County Bank 
and its Cashier, J. M. Elliott — whom Griffith had induced four 
years previously to come to Los Angeles and take charge of 
Griffith, Lynch & Company's lumber yard at Compton. We 
then spoke of the city's growth, and in the course of the 
conversation he said: "Newmark, Fort Street is destined to 
be the most important business thoroughfare in Los Angeles." 
I laughed at him, but Time has shown the wisdom of Griffith's 

The construction of this Fort Street home I commenced 
in the spring, contracting with E. F, Keysor as the architect, 








Every generation enjoys the use of a vast hoard bequeathed 
to it by antiquity, and transmits that hoard, augmented by 
fresh acquisitions, to future ages. In these pursuits, therefore, 
the first speculators lie under great disadvantages, and, even 
when they fail, are entitled to praise. — Macaulay. 



Ubc Umickerboclier press 


• L 5 A/f ? 

Copyright, 19 i6 




i y 


SEF 12)916 






Hn nDemodam 

At the hour of high twelve on April the fourth, 19 16, the 
sun shone into a room where lay the temporal abode, for eighty- 
one years and more, of the spirit of Harris Newmark. On his 
face still lingered that look of peace which betokens a life 
worthily used and gently relinquished. 

Many were the duties allotted him in his pilgrimage ; 
splendidly did he accomplish them ! Providence permitted him 
the completion of his final task — a labor of love — but denied 
him the privilege of seeing it given to the community of his 

To him and to her, by whose side he sleeps, may it be both 
monument and epitaph. 

Thy will he done I 

M. H. N. 
M. R. N. 


SEVERAL times during his latter years my friend, Charles 
Dwight Willard, urged me to write out my recollections 
of the five or six decades I had already passed in Los 
Angeles, expressing his regret that many pioneers had carried 
from this world so much that might have been of interest to 
both the Angelefio of the present and the future historian of 
Southern CaHfornia; but as I had always led an active life of 
business or travel, and had neither fitted myself for any sort 
of literary undertaking nor attempted one, I gave scant at- 
tention to the proposal. Mr. Willard's persistency, however, 
together with the prospect of cooperation offered me by my 
sons, finally overcame my reluctance and I determined to 
commence the work. 

Accordingly in June, 1913, at my Santa Monica home, I 
began to devote a few hours each day to a more or less fragmen- 
tary enumeration of the incidents of my boyhood ; of my voyage 
over the great wastes of sea and land between my ancestral and 
adopted homes; of the pueblo and its surroundings that I 
found on this Western shore; of its people and their customs; 
and, finally, of the men and women who, from then until now, 
have contributed to the greatness of the Southland, and of the 
things they have done or said to entitle their names to be 
recorded. This task I finished in the early fall. During its 
progress I entered more and more into the distant Past, until 
Memory conjured before me many long-forgotten faces and 
happenings. In the end, I found that I had jotted down a 
mass of notes much greater than I had expected. 

Thereupon the Editors began their duties, which were to 
arrange the materials at hand, to supply names and dates 

viii Introduction 

that had escaped me, and to interview many who had been 
principals in events and, accordingly, were presumed to know 
the details; and much progress was made, to the enlarging 
and enrichment of the book. But it was not long before they 
found that the work involved an amount of investigation 
which their limited time would not permit ; and that if carried 
out on even the modest plan originally contemplated, some 
additional assistance would be required. 

Fortunately, just then they met Perry Worden, a post- 
graduate of Columbia and a Doctor of Philosophy of the 
University of Halle, Germany ; a scholar and an author of at- 
tainments. His aid, as investigator and adviser, has been 
indispensable to the completion of the work in its present form. 
Dr. Worden spent many months searching the newspapers, 
magazines and books — some of whose titles find special men- 
tion in the text — which deal with Southern California and its 
past ; and he also interviewed many pioneers, to each of whom 
I owe acknowledgment for ready and friendly cooperation. In 
short, no pains was spared to confirm and amplify all the facts 
and narratives. 

Whether to arrange the matter chronologically or not, was 
a problem impossible of solution to the complete satisfaction of 
the Editors; this, as well as other methods, having its advan- 
tages and disadvantages. After mature consideration, the 
chronological plan was adopted, and the events of each year 
have been recorded more or less in the order of their happening. 
Whatever confusion, if any, may arise through this treatment 
of local history as a chronicle for ready reference will be easily 
overcome, it is believed, through the dating of the chapters 
and the provision of a comprehensive index; while the brief 
chapter-heading, generally a reference to some marked occur- 
rence in that period, will further assist the reader to get his 
bearings. Preference has been given to the first thirty years 
of my residence in Los Angeles, both on account of my 
affectionate remembrance of that time and because of the 
peculiarity of memory in advanced life which enables us to 
recall remote events when more recent ones are forgotten ; and 

Introduction ix 

inasmuch as so little has been handed down from the days 
of the adobe, this partiality will probably find favor. 

In collecting this mass of data, many discrepancies were met 
with, calling for the acceptance or rejection of much long cur- 
rent here as fact; and in all such cases I selected the version 
most closely corresponding with my own recollection, or that 
seemed to me, in the light of other facts, to be correct. For 
this reason, no less than because in my narrative of hitherto 
unrecorded events and personalities it would be miracu- 
lous if errors have not found their way into the story, I 
shall be grateful if those who discover inaccuracies will report 
them to me. In these sixty years, also, I have met many 
men and women worth}'' of recollection, and it is certain that 
there are some whose names I have not mentioned; if so, I 
wish to disclaim any intentional neglect. Indeed, precisely as I 
have introduced the names of a number for whom I have had no 
personal liking, but whose services to the community I remem- 
ber with respect, so there are doubtless others whose activities, 
past or present, it would afford me keen pleasure to note, but 
whom unhappily I have overlooked. 

With this brief introduction, I give the manuscript to the 
printer, not with the ambitious hope of enriching literature in 
any respect, but not without confidence that I have provided 
some new material for the local historian — perhaps of the 
future — and that there may be a goodly number of people 
sufficiently interested to read and enjoy the story, yet indulgent 
enough to overlook the many faults in its narration. 

H. N. 

Los Angeles, 

December ji, 1915. 


THE Historian no longer writes History by warming over 
the pancakes of his predecessors. He must surely know 
what they have done, and how — and whereby they 
succeeded and wherein they failed. But his own labor is to 
find the sidelights they did not have. Macaulay saves him 
from doing again all the research that Macaulay had to do; 
but if he could find a twin Boswell or a second Pepys he would 
rather have either than a dozen new Macaulays. Since history 
is becoming really a Science, and is no more a closet exploration 
of half-digested arm-chair books, we are beginning to learn the 
overwhelming value of the contemporary witness. Even a 
justice's court will not admit Hearsay Evidence; and Science 
has been shamed into adopting the same sane rule. Nowadays 
it demands the eye-witness. We look less for the "Authorities" 
now, and more for the Documents. There are too many 
histories already, such as they are — self-satisfied and oracular, 
but not one conclusive. Every history is put out of date, 
almost daily, by the discovery of some scrap of paper or some 
clay tablet from under the ashes of Babylon, 
i Mere Humans no longer read History — except in school 
where they have to, or in study clubs where it is also Required. 
But a plain personal narrative is interesting now as it has been 
for five thousand years. The world's greatest book is of course 
compulsory; but what is the interesting part of it? Why, the 
stories — Adam and Eve; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Saul and 
David and Samson and Delilah; Solomon, Job, and Jesus the 
Christ! And if anyone thinks Moses worked-in a little too 
much of the Family Tree — he doesn't know what biblical 
archaeology is doing. For it is thanks to these same "petty" 

xii Foreword 

details that modern Science, in its excavations and decipherings, 
has verified the Bible and resolved many of its riddles ! 

Greece had one Herodotus. America had four, antedating 
the year 1600. All these truly great historians built from all the 
"sources" they could find. But none of them quite give us the 
homely, vital picture of life and feeling that one untaught and 
untamed soldier, Bernal Diaz, wrote for us three hundred 
years ago when he was past ninety, and toothless — and angry 
"because the historians didn't get it straight." The student of 
Spanish America has often to wish there had been a Bernal 
Diaz for every decade and every province from 1492 to 1800. 
His unstudied gossip about the conquest of Mexico is less 
balanced and less authoritative, but far more illuminative, 
than the classics of his leader, Cortez — a university man, as 
well as a great conqueror. 

For more than a quarter of a century it was one of my duties 
to study and review (for the Nation and other critical journals) 
all sorts of local chronicles all over Spanish and English America 
— particularly of frontier times. In this work I have read 
searchingly many hundreds of volumes ; and have been brought 
into close contact with our greatest students and editors of 
"History-Material," and with their standards. 

I have read no other such book with so unflagging interest 
and content as these memoirs of Harris Newmark. My per- 
sonal acquaintance with Southern California for more than 
thirty years may color my interest in names and incidents; but 
I am appraising this book (whose proofs I have been permitted 
to read thoroughly) from the standpoint of the student of 
history anywhere. Parkman and Fiske and Coues and Hodge 
and Thwaites would join me in the wish that every American 
community might have so competent a memorandum of its 
life and customs and growth, for its most formative half- 

This is not a history. It is two other much more necessary 
things — for there is no such thing as a real History of Los 
Angeles, and cannot be for years. These are the frank, naive, 
conversational memoirs of a man who for more than sixty 

Foreword xiii 

years could say of Southern California almost as truly as 
^neas of his own time — "All of which I saw, much of which I 
was." The keen observation, the dry humor, the fireside 
intimacy of the talk, the equity and accuracy of memory and 
judgment — all these make it a book which will be much more 
valued by future generations of readers and students. We are 
rather too near to it now. 

But it is more than the "confessions" of one ripe and noble 
experience. It is, beyond any reasonable comparison, the 
most characteristic and accurate composite picture we have 
ever had of an old, brave, human, free, and distinctive life 
that has changed incredibly to the veneers of modern society. 
It is the very mirror of who and what the people were that laid 
the real foundations for a community which is now the wonder 
of the historian. The very details which are ' ' not Big enough " 
for the casual reader (mentally over-tuned to newspaper 
headlines and moving pictures) are the vital and enduring 
merits of this unpretentious volume. No one else has ever set 
down so many of the very things that the final historian of 
Los Angeles will search for, a hundred years after all our orato- 
ries and "literary efforts" have been well forgotten. It is a 
chronicle indispensable for every public library, every reference 
library, the shelf of every individual concerned with the story 
of California. 

It is the Pepys's Diary of Los Angeles and its tributary 

Charles F. Lummis. 


THE Editors wish to acknowledge the cooperation given, 
from time to time, by many whose names, already 
mentioned in the text, are not repeated here, and in 
particular to Drs. Leo Newmark and Charles F. Lummis, and 
Joseph P. and Edwin J. Loeb, for having read the proofs. 
They also wish to acknowledge Dr. Lummis's self-imposed 
task of preparing the generous foreword with which this 
volume has been favored. Gratitude is also due to various 
friends who have so kindly permitted the use of photographs — 
not a few of which, never before published, are rare and difficult 
to obtain. Just as in the case, however, of those who deserve 
mention in these memoirs, but have been overlooked, so it is 
feared that there are some who have supplied information and 
yet have been forgotten. To all such, as well as to several 
librarians and the following, thanks are hereby expressed: 
Frederick Baker, Horace Baker, Mrs. J. A. Barrows, Prospero 
Barrows, Mrs. R. C. Bartow, Miss Anna McConnell Beckley, 
Sigmund Beel, Samuel Behrendt, Arthur S. Bent, Mrs. Dora 
Bilderback, C. V. Boquist, Mrs. Mary Bowman, Allan Bromley, 
Professor Valentin Buehner, Dr. Rose Bullard, J. 0. Burns, 
Malcolm Campbell, Gabe Carroll, J. W. Carson, Walter M. Cas- 
tle, R. B. Chapman, J. H. Clancy, Herman Cohn, Miss Gertrude 
Darlow, Ernest Dawson and Dawson's Bookshop, Louise Deen, 
George E. Dimitry, Robert Dominguez, Durell Draper, Miss 
Marjorie Driscoll, S. D. Dunann, Gottlieb Eckbahl, Richard 
Egan, Professor Alfred Ewington, David P. Fleming, James G. 
Fowler, Miss Effie Josephine Fussell, A. P. Gibson, J. Sherman 
Glasscock, Gilbert H. Grosvenor, Edgar J. Hartung, Chauncey 
Hayes, George H. Higbee, Joseph Hopper, Adelbert Hornung, 

xvi Preface 

Walter Hotz, F. A. Howe, Dr. Clarence Edward Ide, Luther 
Ingersoll, C. W. Jones, Mrs. Eleanor Brodie Jones, Reverend 
Henderson Judd, D. P. Kellogg, C. G. Keyes, Willis T. Knowl- 
ton, Bradner Lee, Jr., H. J. Lelande, Isaac Levy, Miss Ella 
Housefield Lowe, Mrs. Celeste Manning, Mrs. Morris Meyberg, 
Miss Louisa Meyer, William Meying, Charles E. Mitchell, R. C. 
Neuendorffer, S. B. Norton, B. H. Prentice, Burr Price, Edward 
H. Quimby, B. B. Rich, Edward L Robinson, W. J. Rouse, 
Paul P. Royere, Louis Sainsevain, Ludwig Schiiff, R. D. Sepul- 
veda, Calvin Luther Severy, Miss Emily R. Smith, Miss 
Harriet Steele, George F. Strobridge, Father Eugene Sugranes, 
Mrs. Carrie Switzer, Walter P. Temple, W. I. Turck, Judge 
and Mrs. E. P. Unangst, William M. Van Dyke, August 
Wackerbarth, Mrs. J. T. Ward, Mrs. Olive E. Weston, Pro- 
fessor A. C. Wheat and Charles L. Wilde. 


In Memoriam 

Preface ....... 


I. — Childhood and Youth, i 834-1 853 

II. — Westward, Ho! 1853. 

III. — New York — Nicaragua — The Golden Gate 

IV. — First Adventures in Los Angeles, 1853 
V. — Lawyers and Courts, 1853 . 
VI. — Merchants and Shops, 1853 
VII. — In and near the Old Pueblo, 1853 
VIII. — Round about the Plaza, i 853-1 854 
IX. — Familiar Home-Scenes, 1854 
X. — Early Social Life, 1854 
XL — The Rush for Gold, 1855 . 
XII. — The Great Horse Race, 1855 
XIII. — Princely Rancho Domains, 1855 
XIV. — Orchards and Vineyards, 1856 













XV. — Sheriff Barton and the Bandidos, 1857 

XVI. — Marriage — The Butterfield Stages, 1858 

XVII. — Admission to Citizenship, 1859 . 

XVIII. — First Experience with the Telegraph, i860 

XIX. — Steam-Wagon — Odd Characters, i860. 

XX. — The Rumblings of War, 1861 

XXI. — Hancock — Lady Franklin — The Deluge 

XXII. — Droughts — The Ada Hancock Disaster 
1862-1863 .... 

XXIII. — Assassination of Lincoln, i 864-1 865 

XXIV. — H. Newmark & Company — Carlisle-King 
Duel, 1865-1866 

XXV. — Removal to New York, and Return, 1867- 

XXVI.— The Cerro Gordo Mines, 1869 . 

XXVII. — Coming of the Iron Horse, 1869 

XXVIII. — The Last of the Vigilantes, 1870 

XXIX. — The Chinese Massacre, 1871 

XXX.— The Wool Craze, i 872-1 873 

XXXI. — The End OR Vasquez, 1874 . 

XXXII. — The Santa Anita Rancho, 1875 . 

XXXIII. — Los Angeles & Independence Railroad 

XXXIV.— The Southern Pacific, 1876 











Contents xix 


XXXV. — The Revival OF THE Southland, 1 877-1880 . 509 

XXXVI. — Centenary of the City — Electric Light 

XXXVII. — Refetto and the Lawyers, i 885-1 887 

XXXVIII.— The Great Boom, 1887 

XXXIX.— Proposed State Division, i 888-1 891 . 

XL. — The First Fiestas, 1892-1897 

XLI. — The Southwest Arch^ological Society 
1898-1905 ..... 

XLII. — The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906-1910 

XLIII. — Retrospection, 1910-1913 . 

Index ...... 








Harris Newmark. In his Seventy-ninth Year 

Engraved from a photograph Frontispiece 

Facsimile of a Part of the MS. . . . . . 2 

Reproduction of Swedish Advertisement ... 3 
Philipp Neumark ........ 10 

From a Daguerreotype. 

Esther Neumark ........ id 

From a Daguerreotype 

J. P. Newmark ........ id 

From a Daguerreotype 

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Newmark . . . . .10 
Los Angeles in the Early Fifties . . . . .11 

From a drawing of the Pacific Railway Expedition 

Bella Union as it Appeared in 1858 .... 26 

From a Hthograph 

John Goller's Blacksmith Shop ..... 27 

From a lithograph of 1858 

Henry Mellus ........ 50 

From a Daguerreotype 

Francis Mellus ..'...... 50 

From a Daguerreotype 

John G. Downey . . ... . . . .50 

Charles L. Ducommun 50 

xxii Illustrations 



The Plaza Church 

. 51 

From a photograph, probablj^ taken in the middle eighties 

Pio Pico 

. 68 

From an oil portrait 

Juan Bandini ...... 

. 68 

Abel Stearns ....... 

. 68 

Isaac Williams 

. 68 

Store of Felipe Rheim 

. 69 

John Jones 

. 102 

Captain F. jMorton ..... 

. 102 

Captain and Mrs. J. S. Garclv 

. 102 

Captain Salisbury Haley .... 

. 102 

El Palacio, Home of Abel and Arcadia Stearns 

. 103 

From a photograph of the seventies 

The Lugo Ranch-house, in the Nineties 

. 103 

J. P. Newisiark 

. 112 

From a \-ignette of the sixties 

Jacob Rich 

. 112 

0. W. Childs 

. 112 

John 0. Wheeler 


Benjamin D. Wilson 

. 113 

George Hansen 

. 113 

Dr. Obed Macy 

. 113 

Samuel C. Foy 

. 113 

Myer J. and Harris New'al^rk . . 

. 128 

From a Daguerreotj-pe 

George Carson . . . 

. 128 

ToHN G. Nichols 

. 128 


David W. Alexander 

Thomas E. Rowan 

Matthew Keller 

Samuel Meyer 

Louis Sainsevain . 

Manuel Dominguez. 

El Aliso, THE Sainsevain Winery 

From an old lithograph 

Jacob Elias . 
John T. Lanfranco 
J. Frank Burns 
Henry D. Barrows 
Maurice Kremer . 
Solomon Lazard 
Mellus's, or Bell's Row 

From a lithograph of 1858 

William H. Workman and John King 

Prudent Beaudry 

James S. Mallard 

John Behn 

Louis Robidoux 

Julius G. Weyse 

John Behn 

Louis Breer . 

William J. Brodrick 

Isaac R. Dunkelberger 

Frank J. Carpenter 














Augustus Ulyard .... 
Los Angeles in the Late Fifties 

From a contemporary sketch I 

Myer J. Newmark 

Edward J. C. Kewen . 

Dr. John S. Griffin 

William C. Warren 

Harris Newmark, when (about) Thirty-four Years Old 

Sarah Newmark, when (about) Twenty-four Years of 

Age 224 

Facsimile of Harris and Sarah Newmark's Wedding 

Invitation ........ 225 

San Pedro Street, near Second, in the Early Seventies . 254 

Commercial Street, Looking East from Main, about 

1870 254 

View of Plaza, Showing the Reservoir . . . 255 

Old Lanfranco Block ....... 255 

WiNFiELD Scott Hancock ...... 290 

Albert Sidney Johnston ...... 290 

Los Angeles County in 1854 ..... 291 

From a contemporary map 

The Morris Adobe, once Fremont's Headquarters . 291 

Eugene Meyer ........ 310 

Jacob A. Moerenhout 310 

Frank Lecouvreur . . . . . . .310 

Thomas D. Mott 310 

Leonard J. Rose . . . . . . . -311 

H. K. S. O'Melveny 311 


Remi Nadeau 
John M. Griffith 
Kaspare Cohn 
M. A. Newmark 

H. NEVVMARK& Co. 's Store, Arcadia Block, about 1875, 
Including (left) John Jones's Former Premises 

H. Newmark & Co.'s Building, Amestoy Block, about 

Dr. Truman H. Rose . 

Andrew Glassell .... 

Dr. Vincent Gelcich 

Charles E. Miles, in Uniform of 38's 

Facsimile of Stock Certificate, Pioneer Oil Co. 

American Bakery, Jake Kuhrts's Building, about i 

LoEBAU Market Place, near the House in which 
Harris Newmark was Born 

Street in Loebau, Showing (right) Remnant of an 
ciENT City Wall 

Robert M. Widney 

Dr. Joseph Kurtz 

Isaac N. Van Nuys 

Abraham Haas 

Phineas Banning, about 1869 

Henri Penelon, in his Studio 

Carreta, Earliest Mode of Transportation . 

Alameda Street Depot and Train, Los Angeles & San 
Pedro Railroad , . 

Henry C. G. Schaeffer ..... 











Lorenzo Leck 

Henry Hammel 

Louis Mesmer 

John Schumacher 

William Nordholt 

Turnverein-Germania Building, Spring Street 

Vasquez and his Captors 
{Top) D. K. Smith, 

William R. Rowland, 

Walter E. Rodgers. 
{Middle) Albert Johnson, 

Greek George's Home, 

G. A. Beers. 
{Bottom) Emil Harris, 

TiBURCio Vasquez, 

J. S. Bryant, 

Greek George 

Nicolas Martinez .... 

Benjamin S. Eaton .... 

Henry T. Hazard ..... 

Fort Street Home, Harris Newmark, Site of 
Hall; Joseph Newmark at the Door 





Calle de LOS Negros (Nigger Alley), about 1870 . 

Second Street, Looking East from Hill Street, Early 
Seventies ....... 

Round House, with Main Street Entrance 

Spring Street Entrance to Garden of Paradise. 

Temple Street, Looking West from Broadway, about 
1870 . . . ■ 

Pico House, soon after Completion 

William Pridham ... ... 







Benjamin Hayes ....... 

Isaac Lankershim ....... 

Rabbi A. W. Edelman ..... 

Fort Street, from the Chaparral on Fort Hill. 
Antonio Franco and AIariana Coronel 

From an oil painting in the Coronel Collection 

Fourth Street, Looking West from Main . 
TiMMs Landing ....... 

From a print of the late fifties 

Santa Catalina, in the Middle Eighties 

Main Street. Looking North from Sixth, Probably in 
the Late Seventies .... 

High School, on Pound Cake Hill, about 1873 

Temple Court House, after Abandonment by the 
County ........ 

First Street, Looking East from Hill . 

Spring Street, Looking North from First, about 1885 

Cable Car, Running North on Broadway (Previously 
Fort Street), near Second 

Early Electric Car, with Conductor James 
(still in Service) . 

George W. Burton 

Ben C. Truman 

Charles F. Lummis 

Charles Dwight Willard 

Grand Avenue Residence, Harris Newmark 

IsAiAs W. Hellman 

Herman W. Hellman 


, 1889 







xxviii Illustrations 


Cameron E. Thom 6i6 

YgnAcio Sepulveda . . . . . . .616 

First Santa Fe Locomotive to Enter Los Angeles. . 617 

Main Street, Looking North, Showing First Federal 

Building, jMiddle Nineties . . . . .617 

Harris and Sarah NE^\'MARK, at Time of Golden Wedding 636 

Summer Home of Harris Newmark, Santa Monica . 637 

Harris Newmark, at the Dedication of ^L A. NE^^'MARK 

& Co.'s Establishment, 191 2 . . . . . 644 

j. p. ne^\'mark, about i89o ...... 644 

Harris Newmark Breaking Ground for the Jewish 

Orphans' Home, November 2Sth. 191 1 . . . 645 




Sixty Years in Southern 




1WAS born in Loebau, West Prussia, on the 5th of July, 1834, 
the son of Philipp and Esther, nee Meyer, Neumark; and 

I have reason to beHeve that I was not a very welcome 
guest. My parents, who were poor, already had five children, 
and the prospects of properly supporting the sixth child were 
not bright. As I had put in an appearance, however, and there 
was no alternative, I was admitted with good grace into the 
family circle and, being the baby, soon became the pet. 

My father was born in the ancient town of Neumark ; and 
in his youth he was apprenticed to a dealer in boots and 
shoes in a Russian village through which Napoleon Bonaparte 
marched on his way to Moscow. The conqueror sent to the 
shop for a pair of fur boots, and I have often heard m}'- father 
tell, with modest satisfaction, how, shortly before he visited 
the great fair at Nijni Novgorod, he was selected to deliver 
them ; how more than one ambitious and inquisitive friend tried 
to purchase the privilege of approaching the great man, and 
what were his impressions of the warrior. When ushered into 
the august presence, he found Bonaparte in one of his charac- 

2 Sixty Years in Southern California [1834- 

teristic postures, standing erect, in a meditative mood, braced 
against the wall, with one hand to his forehead and the other 
behind his back, apparently absorbed in deep and anxious 

When I was but three weeks old, my father's business 
affairs called him away from home, and compelled the sacrifice 
of a more or less continued absence of eight and one half years. 
During this period my mother's health was very poor. Un- 
fortunately, also, my father was too liberal and extravagantly- 
inclined for his narrow circumstances ; and not being equipped 
to meet the conditions of the district in which we lived and 
our economical necessities, we were continually, so to speak, in 
financial hot water. While he was absent, my father traveled 
in Sweden and Denmark, remitting regularly to his family as 
much as his means would permit, yet earning for them but 
a precarious living. In 1842 he again joined his family in 
Loebau, making visits to Sweden and Denmark during the 
summer seasons from 1843 until the middle fifties and spend- 
ing the long winters at home. Loebau was then, as now, of 
little commercial importance, and until 1849, when I was 
fifteen years of age and had my first introduction to the 
world, my life was very commonplace and marked by little 
worthy of special record, unless it was the commotion center- 
ing in the cobble-paved market-place, as a result of the 
Revolution of 1848. 

With the winter of 1837 had come a change in my father's 
plans and enterprises. Undergoing unusually severe weather 
in Scandinavia, he listened to the lure of the New World and 
embarked for New York, arriving there in the very hot summer 
of 1838. The contrast in climatic conditions proved most dis- 
astrous; for, although life in the new Republic seemed both 
pleasing and acceptable to one of his temperament and liberal 
views, illness finally compelled him to bid America adieu. 

My father was engaged in the making of ink and blacking, 
neither of which commodities was, at that time, in such univer- 
sal demand as it is now; and my brother, Joseph Philipp, later 
known as J. P. Newmark, having some time before left 

Pris Courant 


E NEUMARK? Fa]>ritater. 


1 Mpanaskar 

/ /JirU. .Iskar „ /? si. 


^^^^^' - '^' ■' 

/ /G 





/ /\n-Af/ fir f///j;ir/,/ii/ /a/- 6f/f> 

t/ntt//f fi/' / /VasA-a fii/o/6fn/d:iW"n 

/tr so/ii ///MiirAer si,/ i/,-/t,i//t r/rt/f/Zti't 
tir/l i/oi/Jtf*f. • ■ 

/'/: Caii/tr/t^ .rfiirrr- finiiii'i rim/ '!, 

riiA.ftf A'/iiiii//tr(/e /'riff 


d/' iif/iufiAf 6i:fA<Y//-/iAmf ^, fuuinn 

('(>//fr/>orf/ I . /u,.„sf, /iHJfi' 

" Note. — The ' F ' in the above announcement is 
the abbreviation for Fabian, one of Philipp Neumark's 
given names, at one time used in business, but 
seldom employed in social correspondence, and finally 
abandoned altogether." 

i853l Childhood and Youth 3 

Sweden, where he had been assisting him, for England, it was 
agreed, in 1849, after a family council, that I was old enough to 
accompany my father on his business trips, gradually become 
acquainted with his affairs, and thus prepare to succeed 
him. Accordingly, in April, of that year, I left the family 
hearth, endeared to me, unpretentious though it was, and 
wandered with my father out into the world. Open confession, 
it is said, is good for the soul; hence I must admit that the 
prospect of making such a trip attracted me, notwithstanding 
the tender associations of home ; and the sorrow of parting from 
my mother was rather evenly balanced, in my youthful mind, 
by the pleasurable anticipation of visiting new and strange 

Any attempt to compare methods of travel in 1849, even in 
the countries I then traversed, with those now in vogue, would 
be somewhat ridiculous. Country roads were generally poor 
— in fact, very bad ; and vehicles were worse, so that the entire 
first day's run brought us only to Lessen, a small village but 
twelve miles from home ! Here we spent the night, because of 
the lack of better accommodations, in blankets, on the floor of 
the wayside inn; and this experience was such a disappoint- 
ment, failing to realize, as it did, my youthful anticipations, 
that I was desperately homesick and ready, at the first oppor- 
tunity, to return to my sorrowing mother. The Fates, however, 
were against any such change in our plans; and the next 
morning we proceeded on our way, arriving that evening 
at the much larger town of Bromberg. Here, for the first time, 
the roads and other conditions were better, and my spirits 

Next day we left for Stettin, where we took passage for 
Ystad, a small seaport in southern Sweden. Now our real 
troubles began; part of the trip was arduous, and the low state 
of our finances permitted us nothing better than exposed deck- 
quarters. This was particularly trying, since the sea was rough, 
the weather tempestuous, and I both seasick and longing for 
home; moreover, on arriving at Ystad, after a voyage of twelve 
hours or more, the Health Officer came on board our boat and 

4 Sixty Years in Southern California [1834- 

notified us that, as cholera was epidemic in Prussia, we were 
prohibited from landing ! This filled me with mortal fear lest 
we should be returned to Stettin under the same miserable 
conditions through which we had just passed; but this state of 
mind had its compensating influence, for my tears at the dis- 
couraging announcement worked upon the charity of the 
uniformed officials, and, in a short time, to my inexpressible 
delight, we were permitted to land. With a natural alertness to 
observe anything new in my experience, I shall never forget my 
first impressions of the ocean. There seemed no limit to the 
expanse of stormy waters over which we were traveling; and 
this fact alone added a touch of solemnity to my first venture 
from home. 

From Ystad we proceeded to Copenhagen, where my father 
had intimate friends, especially in the Lachmann, Eichel and 
Ruben families, to whose splendid hospitality and unvary- 
ing kindness, displayed whenever I visited their neighborhood, 
I wish to testify. We remained at Copenhagen a couple of 
months, and then proceeded to Gothenburg. It was not at this 
time my father's intention to biu-den me with serious respon- 
sibility; and, having in mind my age, he gave me but little of 
the work to do, while he never failed to afford me, when he 
could, an hour of recreation or pleasure. The trip as a whole, 
therefore, was rather an educational experiment. 

In the fall of 1849, we returned to Loebau for the winter. 
From this time until 1851 we made two trips together, very 
similar to the one already described; and in 1851, when I was 
seventeen years of age, I commenced helping in real earnest. 
By degrees, I was taught the process of manufacturing; and 
when at intervals a stock had been prepared, I made short trips 
to dispose of it. The blacking was a paste, put up in small 
wooden boxes, to be applied with a brush, such a thing as water- 
proof blacking then not being thought of, at least by us. 
During the summer of 1 85 1 , business carried me to Haparanda, 
about the most northerly port in Sweden ; and from there I took 
passage, stopping at Lulea, Pitea, Umea, Hernosand, Sundsvall, 
Soderhamn and Gefle, all small places along the route. I trans- 

i8s3l Childhood and Youth 5 

acted no business, however, on the trip up the coast because 
it was my intention to return by land, when I should have 
more time for trade; accordingly, on my way back to Stock- 
holm, I revisited all of these points and succeeded beyond my 

On my trip north, I sailed over the Gulf of Bothnia which, 
the reader will recollect, separates Sweden from Finland, a 
province most unhappily under Russia's bigoted, despotic 
sway; and while at Haparanda, I was seized with a desire to 
visit Tornea, in Finland. I was well aware that if I attempted 
to do so by the regular routes on land, it would be necessary to 
pass the Russian customhouse, where officers would be sure 
to examine my passport; and knowing, as the whole liberal 
world now more than ever knows, that a person of Jewish faith 
finds the merest sally beyond the Russian border beset with un- 
reasonable obstacles, I decided to walk across the wide marsh in 
the northern part of the Gulf, and thus circumvent these expo- 
nents of intolerance. Besides, I was curious to learn whether, in 
such a benighted country, blacking and ink were used at all. 
I set out, therefore, through the great moist waste, making my 
way without much difficulty, and in due time arrived at Tornea, 
when I proceeded immediately to the first store in the neigh- 
borhood; but there I was destined to experience a rude, un- 
expected setback. An old man, evidently the proprietor, met 
me and straightway asked, "Are you a Jew?" and seeing, or 
imagining that I saw, a delay (perhaps not altogether tem- 
porary!) in a Russian jail, I withdrew from the store without 
ceremony, and returned to the place whence I had come. Not- 
withstanding this adventure, I reached Stockholm in due season, 
the trip back consuming about three weeks; and during part 
of that period I subsisted almost entirely on salmon, bear's 
meat, milk, and kndckehrod, the last a bread usually made of rye 
flour in which the bran had been preserved. All in all, I was 
well pleased with this maiden- trip; and as it was then Septem- 
ber, I returned to Loebau to spend one more winter at home. 



IN April, 1853, when I had reached the age of nineteen, and 
was expected to take a still more important part in our 
business — an arrangement perfectly agreeable to me — my 
father and I resumed our selling and again left for vSweden. 
For the sake of economy, as well as to be closer to our field 
of operations, we had established two insignificant manufac- 
turing plants, the one at Copenhagen, where we packed for 
two months, the other at Gothenburg, where we also prepared 
stock; and from these two points, we operated until the middle 
of May, 1853. Then a most important event occurred, com- 
pletely changing the course of my life. In the spring, a letter 
was received from my brother, J. P. Newmark, who, in 1848, had 
gone to the United States, and had later settled in Los Angeles. 
He had previously, about 1846, resided in England, as I have 
said; had then sailed to New York and tarried for a while in 
the East; when, attracted by the discovery of gold, he had 
proceeded to San Francisco, arriving there on May 6th, 1851, 
being the first of our family to come to the Coast. In this letter 
my brother invited me to join him in California ; and from the 
first I was inchned to make the change, though I realized that 
much depended on my father. He looked over my shoulder 
while I read the momentous message; and when I came to the 
suggestion that I should leave for America, I examined my 
father's face to anticipate, if possible, his decision. After some 


1853] Westward, Ho! 7 

reflection, he said he had no doubt that my future v/ould be 
benefited by such a change ; and while reluctant enough to let 
me go, he decided that as soon as practicable I ought to start. 
We calculated the amount of blacking likely to be required 
for our trade to the season's end, and then devoted the neces- 
sary time to its manufacture. My mother, when informed of 
my proposed departure, was beside herself with grief and forth- 
with insisted on my return to Loebau ; but being convinced that 
she intended to thwart my desire, and having in mind the very 
optimistic spirit of my brother's letter, I yielded to the in- 
fluence of ambitious and unreflecting youth, and sorrowfully 
but flrmly insisted on the execution of my plans. I feared that, 
should I return home to defend my intended course, the mutual 
pain of parting would still be great. I also had in mind my 
sisters and brothers (two of whom, Johanna, still alive, 
and Nathan, deceased, subsequently came to Los Angeles), and 
knew that each would appeal strongly to my affection and 
regret. This resolution to leave without a formal adieu caused 
me no end of distress; and my regret was the greater when, on 
Friday, July 1st, 1853, I stood face to face with the actual reali- 
zation, among absolute strangers on the deck of the vessel that 
was to carr}'- me from Gothenburg to Hull and far away from 
home and kindred. 

With deep emotion, my father bade me good-bye on the 
Gothenburg pier, nor was I less affected at the parting; 
indeed, I have never doubted that my father made a great 
sacrifice when he permitted me to leave him, since I must have 
been of much assistance and considerable comfort, especially 
during his otherwise solitary travels in foreign lands. I re- 
member distinctly remaining on deck as long as there was the 
least vision of him; but when distance obliterated all view of 
the shore, I went below to regain my composure. I soon in- 
stalled my belongings in the stateroom, or cabin as it was 
then called, and began to accustom myself to my new and 
strange environment. 

There was but one other passenger — a young man — and 
he was to have a curious part in my immediate future. As he 

8 Sixty Years in Southern California [1833 

also was bound for Hull, we entered into conversation; and 
following the usual tendency of people aboard ship, we soon 
became acquaintances. I had learned the Swedish language, 
and could speak it with comparative ease ; so that we conversed 
without difficulty. He gave Gothenburg as his place of resi- 
dence, although there was no one at his departure to wish him 
God-speed ; and while this impressed me strangely at the time, 
I saw in it no particular reason to be suspicious. He stated 
also that he was bound for New York ; and as it developed that 
we intended to take passage on the same boat, we were pleased 
with the prospect of having each other's company throughout 
the entire voyage. Soon our relations became more confidential 
and he finally told me that he was carrying a sum of money, 
and asked me to take charge of a part of it. Unsophisticated 
though I was, I remembered my father's warning to be careful 
in transactions with strangers ; furthermore, the idea of burden- 
ing myself with another's responsibility seeming injudicious, I 
politely refused his request, although even then my suspicions 
were not aroused. It was peculiar, to be sure, that when we 
steamed away from land, the young man was in his cabin; but 
it was only in the light of later developments that I understood 
why he so concealed himself. 

We had now entered the open sea, which was very rough, 
and I retired, remaining in my bunk for two days, or until we 
approached Hull, suffering from the most terrible seasickness 
I have ever experienced ; and not until we sailed into port did 
I recover my sea legs at all. Having dressed, I again met 
my traveling companion; and we became still more intimate. 
On Sunday morning we reached Hull, then boasting of no such 
harbor facilities as the great Humber docks now in course of 
construction; and having transferred our baggage to the train 
as best we could, we proceeded almost immediately on our way 
to Liverpool. While now the fast English express crosses the 
country in about three hours, the trip then consumed the 
better part of the night and, being made in the darkness, 
afforded but little opportunity for observation. 

Hardly had we arrived in Liverpool, when I was surprised 

1853] Westward, Ho ! 9 

in a way that I shall never forget. While attempting to find 
our bundles as they came from the luggage van — a precaution 
necessitated by the poor baggage system then in vogue, which 
did not provide for checking — my companion and I were taken 
in hand by officers of the law, told that we were under arrest, 
and at once conducted to an examining magistrate ! , As my 
conscience was clear, I had no misgivings on account of the. 
detention, although I did fear that I might lose my personal 
effects; nor was I at ease again until they were brought 
in for special inspection. Our trunks were opened in the 
presence of the Swedish Consul who had come, in the mean- 
time, upon the scene; and mine having been emptied, it was 
immediately repacked and closed. What was my amazement, 
however, when my fellow-traveler's trunk was found to contain 
a very large amount of money with which he had absconded 
from Gothenburg! He was at once hurried away to police 
headquarters; and I then learned that, after our departure, 
messages had been sent to both Hull and Liverpool to stop the 
thief, but that through confusion in the description, doubtless 
due to the crude and incomplete information transmitted by 
telegraph (then by no means as thoroughly developed as now) , 
the Liverpool authorities had arrested the only two passen- 
gers arriving there who were known to have embarked at 
Gothenburg, and I, unfortunately, happened to be one of 

At the period whereof I write, there was a semimonthly 
steamer service between Liverpool and New York ; and as bad 
luck would have it, the boat in which I was to travel paddled 
away while I was in the midst of the predicament just de- 
scribed, leaving me with the unpleasant outlook of having to 
delay my departure for America two full weeks. The one thing 
that consoled me was that, not having been fastidious as to my 
berth, I had not engaged passage in advance, and so was not 
further embarrassed by the forfeiture of hard-earned and much- 
needed money. As it was, having stopped at a moderately 
priced hotel for the night, I set out the next morning to inves- 
tigate the situation. Speaking no English, I was fortunate, a 

10 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

few days later, in meeting a Swedish emigration agent who 
informed me that the Star King, a three-masted saihng vessel 
in command of Captain Burland — both ship and captain 
hailing from Baltimore — was booked to leave the following 
morning; and finding the office of the company, I engaged 
one of t]ie six first-class berths in the saloon. There was no 
second-cabin, or I might have traveled in that class; and 
of steerage passengers the Star King carried more than eight 
hundred crowded and seasick souls, most of whom were 
Irish. Even in the first-class saloon, there were few, if any, of 
the ordinary comforts, as I soon discovered, while of luxuries 
there were none; and if one had the misfortune to lose even 
trifling delicacies such as I had, including half a dozen bottles 
of assorted syrups — put up by good Mrs. Lipman, on my 
leaving Gothenburg, and dropped by a bungling porter — the 
inconvenience of the situation was intensified. 

We left Liverpool — which, unlike Hull, I have since seen 
on one of my several visits to Europe — on the evening of the 
loth of July. On my way to the cabin, I passed the dining 
table already arranged for supper; and as I had eaten very 
sparingly since my seasickness on the way to Hull, I was 
fully prepared for a square meal. The absence not only of 
smoke, but of any smell as from an engine, was also favorable 
to my appetite; and when the proper time arrived, I did full 
justice to what was set before me. Steamers then were infre- 
quent on the Atlantic, but there were many sailing vessels; 
and these we often passed, so close, in fact, as to enable the 
respective captains to converse with each other. In the begin- 
ning, we had an ample supply of fresh meat, eggs and butter, as 
well as some poultry, and the first week's travel was like a 
delightful pleasure excursion. After that, however, the meat 
commenced to deteriorate, the eggs turned stale, and the 
butter became rancid ; and as the days passed, everything grew 
worse, excepting a good supply of cheese which possessed, as 
usual, the faculty of improving, rather than spoiling, as it aged. 
Mountain water might justly have shown indignation if the 
contents of the barrels then on board had claimed relationship; 

Philipp Neumark 

From a Daguerreotype 

Esther Neumark 

From a Daguerreotype 

J. P. Newmark 

From a Daguerreotype 

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Newmark 



•j3 O, 


i8s3l Westward, Ho! ii 

while coffee and tea, of which we partook in the usual man- 
ner at the commencement of our voyage, we were compelled 
to drink, after a short time, without milk — the one black and 
the other green. Notwithstanding these annoyances, I en- 
joyed the experience immensely, once I had recovered from my 
depression at leaving Europe; for youth could laugh at such 
drawbacks, none of which, after all, seriously affected my 
naturally buoyant spirits. Not until I narrowly escaped being 
shot, through the Captain's careless handling of a derringer, 
was I roused from a monotonous, half-dreamy existence. 

Following this escape, matters progressed without special 
incident until we were off the coast of Newfoundland, when we 
had every reason to expect an early arrival in New York. 
Late one afternoon, while the vessel was proceeding with all 
sail set, a furious squall struck her, squarely amidships ; and in 
almost as short a time as it takes to relate the catastrophe, our 
three masts were snapped asunder, falling over the side of the 
boat and all but capsizing her. The utmost excitement pre- 
vailed; and from the Captain down to the ordinary seaman, 
all hands were terror-stricken. The Captain believed, in fact, 
that there was no hope of saving his ship; and forgetful of 
all need of self-control and discipline, he loudly called to us, 
"Every man for himself!" at the same time actually tearing at 
and plucking his bushy hair — a performance that in no wise 
relieved the crisis. In less than half an hour, the fury of the 
elements had subsided, and we found ourselves becalmed; and 
the crew, assisted by the passengers, were enabled, by cutting 
away chains, ropes and torn sails, to steady the ship and keep 
her afloat. After this was accomplished, the Captain engaged 
a number of competent steerage passengers to help put up 
emergency masts, and to prepare new sails, for which we 
carried material. For twelve weary days we drifted with 
the current, apparently not advancing a mile; and during all 
this time the Atlantic, but recently so stormy and raging, was 
as smooth as a mill-pond, and the wreckage kept close to our 
ship. It was about the middle of August when this disaster 
occurred, and not until we had been busy many days rigging 

12 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

up again did a stiff breeze spring up, enabling us to complete 
our voyage. 

On August 28th, 1853, exactly forty-nine days after our de- 
parture from Liverpool, we arrived at New York, reaching 
Sandy Hook in a fog so dense that it was impossible to see any 
distance ahead; and only when the fog lifted, revealing the 
great harbor and showing how miraculously we had escaped 
collision with the numerous craft all about us, was our joy and 
relief at reaching port complete. I cannot recollect whether 
we took a pilot aboard or not ; but I do know that the peculiar 
circumstances under which we arrived having prevented a 
health officer from immediately visiting us, we were obliged 
to cast anchor and await his inspection the next morning. 
During the evening, the Captain bought fresh meat, vegetables, 
butter and eggs, offered for sale by venders in boats coming 
alongside; and with sharpened appetites we made short work 
of a fine supper, notwithstanding that various feattu-es of shore 
life, or some passing craft, every minute or two challenged our 
attention, and quite as amply we did justice, on the following 
morning, to our last breakfast aboard ship. As I obtained my 
first glimpse of New York, I thought of the hardships of my 
father there, a few years before, and of his compulsory return 
to Europe ; and I wondered what might have been my position 
among Americans had he succeeded in New York. At last, on 
August 29th, 1853, under a blue and inspiriting sky and with both 
curiosity and hope tuned to the highest pitch, I first set foot on 
American soil, in the country where I was to live and labor the 
remainder of my life, whose flag and institutions I have more 
and more learned to honor and love. 

Before leaving Europe, I had been provided with the New 
York addresses of friends from Loebau, and my first duty was 
to look them up. One of these, named Lindauer, kept a board- 
ing-house on Bayard Street near the Five Points, now, I believe, 
in the neighborhood of Chinatown; and as I had no desire to 
frequent high-priced hotels, I made my temporary abode with 
him. I also located the house of Rich Brothers, associated with 
the San Francisco concern of the same name and through whom 

1853] Westward, Ho 1 13 

I was to obtain funds from my brother with which to continue 
my journey; but as I had to remain in New York three weeks 
until their receipt, I could do little more in furthering my de- 
parture than to engage second-cabin passage via Nicaragua by 
a line running in opposition to the Panama route, and offering 
cheapness as its principal attraction. Having attended to that, 
I spent the balance of the time visiting and seeing the city, and 
in making my first commercial venture in the New World, In 
my impatience to be doing something, I foolishly relieved 
Samuel, a brother of Kaspare Cohn, and a nephew of mine, of 
a portion of his merchandise; but in a single day I decided to 
abandon peddling — a difficult business for which, evidently, 
I was never intended. After that, a painful experience with 
mosquitoes was my only unpleasant adventi^ire. I did not 
know until later that an excited crowd of men were just then 
assembled in the neighborhood, in what was styled the Uni- 
versal Ice- Water Convention, and that not far away a crowd 
of women, quite as demonstrative, excluded from the councils 
of men and led by no less a personality than P. T. Barnum, 
the showman, were clamoring for both Prohibition and Equal 
Suffrage ! 



ON September 20th, during some excitement due to the fear 
lest passengers from New Orleans afflicted with yellow- 
fever were being smuggled into the city despite the vi- 
gilance of the health authorities, I left New York for Nicaragua, 
then popularly spoken of as the Isthmus, sailing on the steamer 
Illinois as one of some eleven or twelve hundred travelers re- 
cently arrived from Europe who were hurrying to California 
on that ship and the Star of the West. The occasion afforded 
my numerous acquaintances a magnificent opportunity to give 
me all kinds of advice, in the sifting of which the bad was dis- 
carded, while some attention was paid to the good. One of the 
important matters mentioned was the danger from drinking 
such water as was generally found in the tropics unless it were 
first mixed with brandy; and this led me, before departing, to 
buy a gallon demijohn — a bulging bottle destined to figure in a 
ludicrous episode on my trip from sea to sea. I can recall little 
of the voyage to the eastern coast of Nicaragua. We kept 
well out at sea until we reached the Bahama Islands, when 
we passed near Mariguana, felt our way through the Windward 
Passage, and steered east of the Island of Jamaica; but I 
recollect that it became warmer and warmer as we proceeded 
farther south to about opposite Mosquito Gulf, where we 
shifted our position in relation to the sun, and that we consumed 
nine days in covering the two thousand miles or more between 
New York and San Juan del Norte, or Grey Town. 


i853] New York — Nicaragua — The Golden Gate 15 

From San Juan del Norte — in normal times, a hamlet of 
four or five hundred people clustered near one narrow, dirty 
street — we proceeded up the San Juan River, nine hundred 
passengers huddled together on three flat-bottomed boats, until, 
after three or four days, our progress was interfered with, at 
Castillo Rapids, by a fall in the stream. There we had to dis- 
embark and climb the rough grade, while our baggage was 
carried up on a tramway ; after which we continued our journey 
on larger boats, though still miserably packed together, until 
we had almost reached the mouth of Lake Nicaragua, when the 
water became so shallow that we had to trust ourselves to the 
uncertain bongos, or easily-overturned native canoes, or get out 
again and walk. It would be impossible to describe the hard- 
ships experienced on these crowded little steamboats, which 
were by no means one quarter as large as the Hermosa, at 
present plying between Los Angeles harbor and Catalina. The 
only drinking water that we could get came from the river, and 
it was then that my brandy served its purpose : with the addi- 
tion of the liquor, I made the drink both palatable and safe. 
Men, women and children, we were parched and packed like 
so many herring, and at night there was not only practically no 
space between passengers sleeping on deck, but the extremities 
of one were sure to interfere with the body of another. The 
heat was indeed intense; the mosquitoes seemed omnivorous; 
to add to which, the native officers in charge of our expedition 
pestered us with their mercenary proceedings. For a small 
cup of black coffee, a charge of fifty cents was made, which 
leaves the impression that food was scarce, else no one would 
have consented to pay so much for so little. This part of the 
trip was replete with misery to many, but fortunately for me, 
although the transportation company provided absolutely no 
conveniences, the hardships could not interfere with my enjoy- 
ment of the delightful and even sublime scenery surrounding 
us on all sides in this tropical country. As the river had no 
great width, we were at close range to the changing panorama 
on both banks; while the neighboring land was covered with 
gorgeous jungles and vegetation. Here I first saw orange, 

i6 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

lemon and cocoanut trees. Monkeys of many kinds and sizes 
were to be seen ; and birds of variegated colors were plentiful, 
almost innumerable varieties of parrots being visible. All 
these things were novel to me ; and notwithstanding the great 
discomforts under which we traveled, I repeat that I enjoyed 

A walk of a mile or two along the river bank, affording 
beneficial exercise, brought us to Port San Carlos, from which 
point a larger boat crossed the lake to Virgin Bay, where we took 
mules to convey us to San Juan del Sur. This journey was as 
full of hardship as it was of congeniality, and proved as inter- 
esting as it was amusing. Imagine, if you please, nine hundred 
men, women and children from northern climes, long accus- 
tomed to the ways of civilization, suddenly precipitated, under 
an intensely hot tropical sun, into a small, Central American 
landing, consisting of a few huts and some cheap, improvised 
tents (used for saloons and restaurants), every one in search 
of a mule or a horse, the only modes of transportation. The 
confusion necessarily following the preparation for this part of 
the trip can hardly be imagined: the steamship company fur- 
nished the army of animals, and the nervous tourists furnished 
the jumble! Each one of the nine hundred travelers feared 
that there would not be enough animals for all, and the anxiety 
to seciu"e a beast caused a stampede. 

In the scramble, I managed to get hold of a fine mule, and 
presently we were all mounted and ready to start. This con- 
glomeration of humanity presented, indeed, a ludicrous sight; 
and I really believe that I must have been the most grotesque 
figure of them all. I have mentioned the demijohn of brandy, 
which a friend advised me to buy; but I have not mentioned 
another friend who told me that I should be in danger of sun- 
stroke in this climate, and who induced me to carry an um- 
brella to protect myself from the fierce rays of the enervating sun. 
Picture me, then, none too short and very lank, astride a mule, 
a big demijohn in one hand, and a spreading, green umbrella 
in the other, riding through this southern village, and prac- 
tically incapable of contributing anything to the course of the 

i853] New York — Nicaragua — The Golden Gate 17 

mule. Had the animal been left to his own resources, he might 
have followed the caravan; but in my ignorance, I attempted 
to indicate to him which direction he should take. My method 
was evidently not in accordance with the tradition of guiding 
in just that part of the world; and to make a long story short, 
the mule, with his three-fold burden, deftly walked into a 
restaurant, in the most innocent manner and to the very great 
amusement of the diners, but to the terrible embarrassment 
and consternation of the rider. After some difficulty (for the 
restaurant was hardly intended for such maneuvers as were 
required), we were led out of the tent. This experience showed 
me the necessity of abandoning either the umbrella or the 
brandy; and learning that lemonade could be had at points 
along the route, I bade good-bye to the demijohn and its ex- 
hilarating contents. From this time on, although I still dis- 
played inexpertness in control, his muleship and I gradually 
learned to understand each other, and matters progressed very 
well, notwithstanding the intense heat, and the fatigue natural 
to riding so long in such an unaccustomed manner. The 
lemonade, though warm and, therefore, dear at ten cents a 
glass, helped to quench my thirst; and as the scenery was 
wonderful, I derived all the benefit and pleasure possible from 
the short journey. 

All in all, we traversed about twelve miles on mule or horse- 
back, and finally arrived, about four o'clock in the afternoon of 
the day we had started, at San Juan del Sur, thus putting 
behind us the most disagreeable part of this uncomfortable trip; 
Here it may be interesting to add that on our way across the 
Isthmus, we met a crowd of disappointed travelers returning 
from the Golden Gate, on their way toward New York. They 
were a discouraged lot and loudly declared that California was 
nothing short of Si fiasco; but, fortunately, there prevailed that 
weakness of human nature which impels every man to earn his 
own experience, else, following the advice of these discomfited 
people, some of us might have retraced our steps and thus 
completely altered our destinies. Not until the publication, 
years later, of the Personal Memoirs oj General W. T. Sherman^ 

1 8 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

did I learn, with peculiar interest, that the then rising soldier, 
returning to California with his young wife, infant child and 
nurse, had actually embarked from New York on the same day 
that I had, arriving in San Francisco the same day that I 
arrived, and that therefore the Shermans, whose experience 
with the mules was none the less trying and ridiculous than my 
own, must have been members of the same party with me in 
crossing the mosquito-infested Isthmus. 

There was no appreciable variation in temperature while I 
was in Nicaragua, and at San Juan del Sur (whose older por- 
tion, much like San Juan del Norte, was a village of the Spanish- 
American type with one main street, up and down which, 
killing time, I wandered) the heat was just as oppressive as 
it had been before. People often bunked in the open, a hotel- 
keeper named Green renting hammocks, at one dollar each, 
when all his beds had been taken. One of these hammocks I 
engaged; but being unaccustomed to such an aerial lodging, 
I was most unceremoniously spilled out, during a deep sleep 
in the night, falling only a few feet, but seeming, to my stirred- 
up imagination, to be sliding down through limitless space. 
Here I may mention that this Nicaragua Route was the boom 
creation of a competitive service generally understood to have 
been initiated by ;those who intended, at the first opportunity, 
to sell out; and that since everybody expected to pack and 
move on at short notice, San Juan del Sur, suddenly enlarged 
by the coming and going of adventurers, was for the moment 
in part a community of tents, presenting a most unstable 
appearance. A picturesque little creek flo\\'ed by the town and 
into the Pacific ; and there a fellow-traveler, L. Harris, and I 
decided to refresh ourselves. This was no sooner agreed upon 
than done; but a passer-by having excitedly informed us that 
the creek was infested with alligators, we were not many seconds 
in following his advice to scramble out, thereby escaping per- 
haps a fate similar to that which overtook, only a few years 
later, a near relative of Mrs. Henry Hancock. 

At sundown, on the day after we arrived at San Juan del 
Sur, the Pacific terminal, we were carried by natives through 

1853] New York — Nicaragua — The Golden Gate 19 

the surf to small boats, and so transferred to the steamer 
Cortez; and then we started, amidst great rejoicing, on the 
last lap of our journey. We steamed away in a northerly 
direction, upon a calm sea and under the most favorable cir- 
cumstances, albeit the intense heat was most unpleasant. In 
the course of about a week the temperature fell, for we were 
steadily approaching a less tropical zone. Finally, on the 1 6th 
of October, 1853, we entered the Golden Gate. 

Notwithstanding the lapse of many years, this first visit to 
San Francisco has never been forgotten. The beauty of the 
harbor, the surrounding elevations, the magnificence of the 
day, and the joy of being at my journey's end, left a-n impression 
of delight which is still fresh and agreeable in my memory. All 
San Francisco, so to speak, was drawn to the wharf, and enthusi- 
asm ran wild. Jacob Rich, partner of my brother, was there to 
meet me and, without ceremony, escorted me to his home; and 
under his hospitable roof I remained until the morning when 
I was to depart for the still sunnier South. 

San Francisco, in 1853, was much like a frontier town, 
devoid of either style or other evidences of permanent progress ; 
yet it was wide-awake and lively in the extreme. What little 
had been built, bad and good, after the first rush of gold-seekers, 
had been destroyed in the five or six fires that swept the city 
just before I came, so that the best buildings I saw were of 
hasty and, for the most part, of frame construction. Tents also, 
of all sizes, shapes and colors, abounded. I was amazed, I 
remember, at the lack of civilization as I understood it, at the 
comparative absence of women, and at the spectacle of peopie 
riding around the streets on horseback like mad. All sorts of 
excitement seemed to fill the air ; everywhere there was a notice- 
able lack of repose; and nothing perhaps better fits the scene 
I would describe than some lines from a popular song of that 
time entitled, San Francisco in 1853 : 

City full of people, 

In a business flurry; 
Everybody's motto, 

Hurry ! hurry ! hurry ! 

20 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

Every nook and corner 

Full to overflowing: 
Like a locomotive, 

Ever^'body going! 

One thing in particular struck me, and that was the un- 
settled state of the surface on which the new town was being 
built. I recall for example, the great quantity of sand that 
was continually being blown into the streets from sand-dunes 
uninterruptedly forming in the endless vacant lots, and how 
people, after a hard wind at night, would find small sand-heaps 
in front of their stores and residences; so that, in the absence 
of any municipal effort to keep the thoroughfares in order, the 
owners were repeatedly engaged in sweeping away the accumu- 
lation of sand, lest they might be overwhelmed. The streets 
were ungraded, although some were covered with planks for 
pavement, and presented altogether such an aspect of un- 
certainty that one might well believe General Sherman's testi- 
mony that, in winter time, he had seen mules fall, unable to rise, 
and had even witnessed one drown in a pool of mud ! Sidewalks, 
properly speaking, there were none. Planks and boxes — some 
filled with produce not yet unpacked — were strung along in 
irregular lines, requiring the poise of an acrobat to walk upon, 
especially at night. As I waded through the sand-heaps or fell 
over the obstructions designed as pavements, my thoughts 
reverted, very naturally, to my brother who had preceded me 
to San Francisco two years before; but it was not until some 
years later that I learned that my distinguished fellow-country- 
man, Heinrich Schliemann, destined to wander farther to 
Greece and Asia Minor, and there to search for ancient Troy, 
had not only knocked about the sand-lots in the same manner 
in which I was doing, but, stirred by the discovery of gold and 
the admission of California to the Union, had even taken on 
American citizenship. Schliemann visited California in 1850 
and became naturalized; nor did he ever, I believe, repudiate 
the act which makes the greatest explorer of ancient Greece a 
burgher of the United States! 

During my short stay in San Francisco, before leaving for 

i8s3] New York — Nicaragua — The Golden Gate 21 

Los Angeles, I made the usual rounds under the guidance of 
Jacob Rich. Having just arrivjed from the tropics, I was not 
provided with an overcoat ; and since the air was chilly at night, 
my host, who wore a talma or large cape, lent me a shawl, 
shawls then being more used than they are now. Rich took 
me to a concert that was held in a one-story wooden shack, 
whereat I was much amazed ; and afterward we visited a num- 
ber of places of louder revelry. Just as I found it to be a few 
days later in Los Angeles, so 'San Francisco was filled with sa- 
loons and gambling-houses ; and these institutions were in such 
contrast to the features of European life to which I had been 
accustomed, that they made a strong impression upon me. 
There were no restrictions of any sort, not even including a 
legal limit to their number, and people engaged in these enter- 
prises because, in all probability, they were the miost profitable. 
Such resorts attracted criminals, or developed in certain 
persons latent propensities to wrong-doing, and perhaps it is no 
wonder that Walker, but the summer previous, should have 
selected San Francisco as headquarters for his filibustering 
expedition to Lower California. By far the most talked-of 
man of that day was Harry Meiggs — popularly known as 
"Honest Harry" — who was engaged in various enterprises, 
and was a good patron of civic and church endeavor. He was 
evidently the advance guard of the boomer organization, and 
built the Long Wharf at North Beach, on a spot now at Com- 
mercial and Montgomery streets, where later the Australian con- 
vict, trying to steal a safe, was captured by the First Vigilance 
Committee ; and so much was Meiggs the envy of the less pyro- 
technical though more substantial people, that I repeatedly 
had my attention called, during my brief stay in San Fran- 
cisco, .to what was looked upon as his prodigious prosperity. 
But Meiggs, useful as he was to the society of his day, finally 
ended his career by forging a lot of city scrip (a great deal of 
which he sold to W. T. Sherman and his banking associates), 
and by absconding to Peru, where he became prominent as a 
banker and a developer of mines. 

Situated at the Plaza — where, but three years before, on 

22 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

the admission of California as a State, the meeting of gold- 
seeking pioneers and lassoing natives had been symbolized 
with streaming banners, and the thirty-one stars were nailed 
to a rude pole — was the El Dorado, the most luxurious 
gambling-place and saloon in the West, despite the existence 
near by of the Bella Union, the Parker House and the Empire. 
Music, particularly native Spanish or Mexican airs, played 
its part there, as well as other attractions; and much of the 
life of the throbbing town centered in that locality. It is my 
impression that the water front was then Sansome Street ; and if 
this be correct, it will afford some idea of the large territory in 
San Francisco that is made ground. 

As there was then no stage line between San Francisco and 
the South, I was compelled to continue my journey by sea ; and 
on the morning of October i8th, I boarded the steamer GoJiah 
— whose Captain was Salisbury Haley, formerly a surveyor 
from Santa Barbara — bound for Los Angeles, and advertised 
to stop at Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and 
one or two other landings formerly of importance but now more 
or less forgotten. There were no wharves at any of those places ; 
passengers and freight were taken ashore in small boats; and 
when they approached shallow water, everything was carried 
to dry land by the sailors. This performance gave rise, at 
times, to most annoying situations; boats would capsize and 
empty their passengers into the water, creating a merriment 
enjoyed more by those who were secure than by the victims 
themselves. On October 21st we arrived a mile or so off San 
Pedro, and were disembarked in the manner above described, 
having luckily suffered no such mishap as that which befell 
passengers on the steamship Wiufield Scott who, journeying 
from Panama but a month or so later, at midnight struck 
one of the Anacapa Islands, now belonging to Ventura County, 
running dead on to the rocks. The vessel in time was smashed 
to pieces, and the passengers, several hundred in number, were 
forced to camp on the island for a week or more. 

Almost from the time of the first visit of a steamer to San 
Pedro, the Gold Hunter (a side-wheeler which made the voyage 

1853] New York — Nicaragua — The Golden Gate 23 

from San Francisco to Mazatlan in 1849), and certainly from 
the day in January of that same year when Temple & Alexander 
put on their four-wheeled vehicle, costing one thousand dollars 
and the second in the county, there was competition in 
transporting passengers to Los Angeles. Phineas Banning, 
Augustus W. Timms, J. J. Tomlinson, John Goller, David W. 
Alexander, Jose Rdbio and B. A. Townsend were among the 
most enterprising commission men; and their keen rivalry 
brought about two landings — one controlled by Banning, who 
had come to Los Angeles in 1851, and the other by Timms, after 
whom one of the terminals was named. Before I left San 
Francisco, Rich provided me with a letter of introduction 
to Banning — who w^as then known, if I remember aright, as 
Captain, though later he was called successively Major and 
General^at the same time stating that this gentleman 
was a forwarding merchant. Now, in European cities where 
I had heretofore lived, commission and forwarding merchants 
were a dignified and, to my way of thinking, an aristocratic class, 
which centuries of business experience had brought to a genteel 
perfection; and they would have found themselves entirely 
out of their element had their operations demanded their sudden 
translation, in the fifties, to the west coast of America. At 
any rate, upon arriving at San Pedro I had expected to find a 
man dressed either in a uniform or a Prince Albert, with a high 
hat and other appropriate appurtenances, and it is im- 
possible to describe my astonishment when Banning was 
pointed out to me; for I knew absolutely nothing of the rough 
methods in vogue on the Pacific Coast. There stood before 
me a very large, powerful man, coatless and vestless, without 
necktie or collar, and wearing pantaloons at least six inches 
too short, a pair of brogans and socks with large holes; while 
bright-colored suspenders added to the picturesque effect of 
his costume. It is not my desire to ridicule a gentleman who, 
during his lifetime, was to be a good, constant friend of 
mine, but rather to give my readers some idea of life in the 
West, as well as to present my first impressions of Southern 
California. The fact of the matter is that Banning, in his own 

24 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

way, was even then such a man of affairs that he had bought, 
but a few months before, some fifteen wagons and nearly five 
times as many mules, and had paid almost thirty thousand 
dollars for them. I at once delivered the letter in which Rich 
had stated that I had but a smattering of English and that it 
would be a favor to him if Banning would help me safely on my 
way to Los Angeles ; and Banning, having digested the contents 
of the communication, looked me over from head to foot, shook 
hands and, in a stentorian voice — loud enough, I thought, to 
be heard beyond the hills — good-naturedly called out, "Wie 
gehVs?'' After which; leading the way, and shaking hands 
again, he provided me with a good place on the stage. 

Not a minute was lost between the arrival of passengers 
and the departure of coaches for Los Angeles in the early 
fifties. The competition referred to developed a racing 
tendency that was the talk of the pueblo. The compan}^ that 
made the trip in the shortest time usually obtained, through 
lively betting, the best of advertising and the largest patronage ; 
so that, from the moment of leaving San Pedro until the final 
arrival in Los Angeles two and a half hours later, we tore along 
at breakneck speed, over roads slowly traveled, but a few 
years before,by Stockton's cannon. These roads never having 
been cared for, and still less inspected, were abominably bad; 
and I have often wondered that during such contests there 
were not more accidents. The stages were of the common 
Western variety, and four to six broncos were always a feature 
of the equipment. No particular attention had been given to 
the harness, and everything was more or less primitive. The 
stage was provided with four rows of seats and each row, as a 
rule, was occupied by four passengers, the front row including 
the oft-bibulous driver ; and the fare was five dollars. 

Soon after leaving San Pedro, we passed thousands of 
ground squirrels, and never having seen anything of the kind 
before, I took them for ordinary rats. This v/as not an attrac- 
tive discovery; and when later we drove by a number of ranch 
houses and I saw beef cut into strings and hung up over fences 
to dry, it looked as though I had landed on another planet. 

1853] New York — Nicaragua — The Golden Gate 25 

I soon learned that dried beef or, as the natives here called 
it, came seca (more generally known, perhaps, at least among 
frontiersmen, as "jerked" beef or jerky) was an important 
article of food in Southern California; but from the remi- 
niscences of various pioneers I have known, it evidently as- 
tonished others as much as it did me. 

Having reached the Half- Way Plouse, we changed horses; 
then we continued and approached Los Angeles by San Pedro 
Street, which was a narrow lane, possibly not more than ten 
feet wide, with growing vineyards bordered by willow trees on 
each side of the road. It was on a Sunday and in the midst of 
the grape season that I first beheld the City of the Angels ; and 
to these facts in particular I owe another odd and unfavorable 
first impression of the neighborhood. Much of the work 
connected with the grape industry was done by Indians and 
native ]\'j[exicans, or Californians, as they were called, and every 
Saturday evening they received their pay. During Saturday 
night and all day Sunday, they drank themselves into hilarity 
and intoxication, and this dissipation lasted until Sunday 
night. Then they slept off their sprees and were ready 
to work Monda}^ morning. During each period of excite- 
ment, from one to three or four of these revelers were 
murdered. Never having seen Indians before, I supposed them 
to represent the citizenship of Los Angeles — an amusing error 
for which I might be pardoned when one reflects that nine out 
of forty-four of the founders of Los Angeles were Indians, and 
that, according to an official census made the year before, Los 
Angeles County in 1852 had about thirty- seven hundred 
domesticated Indians among a population of a little over 
four thousand whites; and this mistake as to the typical 
burgher, together with my previous experiences, added to my 

At last, with shouts and yells from the competing drivers, 
almost as deafening as the horn-blowing of a somewhat later 
date, and hailed apparently by every inhabitant and dog 
along the route, we arrived at the only real hotel in town, the 
Bella Union, where stages stopped and every city function 

26 Sixty Years in SouJthern California [iSssl 

took place. This hotel was a one-story, adobe house enlarged 
in 1858 to two stories, and located on Main Street above Com- 
mercial ; and Dr. Obed Macy, who had bought it the previous 
spring from Winston & Hodges, was the proprietor. 

My friend, Sam Meyer (now deceased, but for fifty years 
or more treasurer of Forty-two, the oldest Masonic lodge in 
Los Angeles) , who had come here a few months in advance of 
me, awaited the arrival of the stage and at once recognized 
me by my costume, which was anything but in harmony with 
Southern California fashions of that time. My brother, J. P. 
Newmark, not having seen me for several years, thought that 
our meeting ought to be private, and so requested Sam to show 
me to his store. I was immediately taken to my brother's 
place of business where he received me with great affection; 
and there and then we renewed that sympathetic association 
which continued many years, until his death in 1 895. 

*§^f^M'- ■" ' ;'■ V 

•;, v'.-;- '"'-rfy^^y^^^ 



IIM ttlllfOHf liMLlMlMMUf. lUMIIIiSlIIiiia 

Bella Union as it Appeared in 1858 

From a lithograph 

John GoIIer's Blacksmith Shop 

From a lithograph of 1858 




ONCE fairly well settled here, I began to clerk for my 
brother, who in 1852 had bought out a merchant named 
Howard. For this service I received my lodging, the 
cost of my board, and thirty dollars each month. The charges 
for board at the Bella Union— then enjoying a certain prestige, 
through having been the official residence of Pio Pico when 
Stockton took the city — were too heavy, and arrangements 
were made with a Frenchman named John La Rue, who had 
a restaurant on the east side of Los Angeles Street, about two 
hundred feet south of Bell's Row. I paid him nine dollars a 
week for three more or less hearty meals a day, not including 
eggs, unless I provided them; in this case he agreed to prepare 
them for me. Eggs were by no means scarce; but steaks and 
mutton and pork chops were the popular choice, and potatoes 
and vegetables a customary accompaniment. 

This La Rue, or Leroux, as he was sometimes called, was an 
interesting personality with an interesting history. Born in 
France, he sailed for the United States about the time of the 
discovery of gold in California, and made his way to San Fran- 
cisco and the mines, where luck encouraged him to venture 
farther and migrate to Mazatlan, Mexico. While prospecting 
there, however, he was twice set upon and robbed; and barely 
escaping with his life, he once more turned northward, this time 
stopping at San Pedro and Los Angeles. Here, meeting Miss 


28 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

Bridget Johnson, a native of Ireland, who had just come from 
New York by way of San Diego, La Rue married her, notwith- 
standing their inability to speak each other's language, and then 
opened a restaurant, which he continued to conduct until 1858 
when he died, as the result of exposure at a fire on Main Street. 
Although La Rue was in no sense an eminent citizen, it is 
certain that he was esteemed and mourned. Prior to his death, 
he had bought thirty or thirty-five acres of land, on which he 
planted a vineyard and an orange-orchard; and these his wife 
inherited. In 1862, Madame La Rue married John Wilson, 
also a native of Ireland, who had come to Los Angeles during 
the year that the restaurateur died. He was a blacksmith and 
worked for John Goller, continuing in business for over twenty 
years, and adding greatly, by industry and wise management, 
to the dowry brought him b3^the thrifty widow. 

I distinctly recall La Rue's restaurant, and quite as clearly 
do I remember one or two humorous experiences there. Noth- 
ing in Los Angeles, perhaps, has ever been cruder than this 
popular eating-place. The room, which faced the street, had a 
mud-floor and led to the kitchen through a narrow opening. 
Half a dozen cheap wooden tables, each provided with two 
chairs, stood against the walls. The tablecloths were generally 
dirty, and the knives and forks, as well as the furniture, were 
of the homeliest kind. The food made up in portions what it 
lacked in quality, and the diner rarely had occasion to leave the 
place hungry. What went most against my grain was the 
slovenliness of the proprietor himself. Flies were very thick in 
the summer months ; and one day I found a big fellow splurging 
in my bowl of soup. This did not, however, feaze John La Rue. 
Seeing the struggling insect, he calmly dipped his coffee-colored 
fingers into the hot liquid and, quite as serenely, drew out the 
fly ; and although one could not then be as fastidious as nowa- 
days, I nevertheless found it impossible to eat the soup. 

On another occasion, however, mine host's equanimity 
was disturbed. I had given him two eggs one morning, to pre- 
pare for me, when Councilman A. Jacobi, a merchant and also 
a customer of La Rue's, came in for breakfast, bringing one 

i853] First Adventures In Los Angeles 29 

more egg than mine. Presently my meal, unusually generous, 
was served, and without loss of time I disposed of it and 
was about to leave; when just then Jacobi discovered that the 
small portion set before him could not possibly contain the three 
eggs he had supplied. Now, Jacobi was not only possessed of a 
considerable appetite, but had as well a definite unwillingness 
to accept less than his due, while La Rue, on the other hand, 
was very easily aroused to a high pitch of Gallic excitement; 
so that in less time than is required to relate the story, the two 
men were embroiled in a genuine Franco-Prussian dispute, all 
on account of poor La Rue's unintentional interchange of the 
two breakfasts. Soon after this encounter, Jacobi, who was 
an amateur violinist of no mean order, and had fiddled himself 
into the affections of his neighbors, left for Berlin with a snug 
fortune, and there after some years he died. 

Having arranged for my meals, my brother's next provision 
was for a sleeping-place. A small, unventilated room adjoining 
the store was selected; and there I rested on an ordinary cot 
furnished with a mattress, a pillow, and a pair oifrazadas, or 
blankets. According to custom, whatever of these covers I re- 
quired were taken each evening from stock, and the next morn- 
ing they were returned to the shelves. Stores as well as houses 
were then almost without stoves or fireplaces; and as it grew 
colder, I found that the blankets gave little or no warmth. 
Indeed they were nothing more or less, notwithstanding their 
slight mixture of wool, than ordinary horse-blankets, on which 
account in winter I had to use five or six of them to enjoy any 
comfort whatever ; and since I experienced difficulty in keeping 
them on the cot, I resorted at last to the device of tacking them 
down on one side. 

In 1853, free-and-easy customs were in vogue in Los Angeles, 
permitting people in the ordinary affairs of life to do prac- 
tically as they pleased. There were few if any restrictions ; and 
if circumscribing City ordinances existed — except, perhaps, 
those of 1850 which, while licensing gaming places, forbade the 
playing of cards on the street — I do not remember what they 
were. As was the case in San Francisco, neither saloons nor 

30 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

gambling places were limited by law, and there were no regu- 
lations for their management. As many persons as could make 
a living in this manner kept such establishments, which were 
conspicuous amid the sights of the town. Indeed, chief among 
the surprises greeting me during my first few weeks upon 
the Coast, the many and flourishing gambling dens caused 
me the greatest astonishment. 

Through the most popular of these districts, a newly-found 
friend escorted me on the evening of my arrival in Los Angeles. 
The quarter was known by the euphonious title of Calle de los 
Negros — Nigger Alley; and this alley was a thoroughfare not 
over forty feet wide which led from Aliso Street to the Plaza, 
an extent of just one unbroken block. At this period, there was 
a long adobe facing Los Angeles Street, having a covered 
platform or kind of veranda, about four feet from the ground, 
running its entire length. The building commenced at what 
was later Sanchez Street, and reached, in an easterly direc- 
tion, to within forty feet, more or less, of the east side of 
Nigger Alley, then continuing north to the Plaza. This 
formed the westerly boundary, while a line of adobes on the 
other side of the street formed the easterly line. The structure 
first described, and which was demolished many years ago, 
later became the scene of the beginning of an awful massacre 
to which I shall refer in due season. 

Each side of the alley was occupied by saloons and gambling 
houses. IMen and women alike were to be found there, and 
both sexes looked after the gaming tables, dealing monte and 
faro, and managing other contrivances that parted the good- 
natured and easy-going people from their money. Those in 
charge of the banks were alwa3^s provided with pistols, and 
were ready, if an emergency arose, to settle disputes on the 
spot; and only rarely did a case come up for adjustment before 
the properly-constituted authorities, such as that in 1848, which 
remained a subject of discussion for some time, when counter- 
feiters, charged with playing at monte with false money, were 
tried before a special court made up of Abel Stearns and 
Stephen C. Foster. Time was considered a very important 

i8s3l First Adventures in Los Anoreles 31 

element during the play; and sanguinary verdicts in financial 
disputes were generally rendered at once. 

Human life at this period was about the cheapest thing in 
Los Angeles, and killings were frequent. Nigger Alley was as 
tough a neighborhood, in fact, as could be found anywhere, and 
a large proportion of the twenty or thirty murders a month 
was committed there. About as plentiful a thing, also, as there 
was in the pueblo was liquor. This was served generously in 
these resorts, not only with respect to quantity, but as well 
regarding variety. In addition to the prodigality of feasting, 
there was no lack of music of the native sort — the harp and the 
guitar predominating. These scenes were picturesque and 
highly interesting. Nigger Alley, for a while the headquarters 
for gamblers, enjoyed through that circumstance a certain 
questionable status; but in the course of years it came to be 
more and more occupied by the Chinese, and given over to 
their opium-dens, shops and laundries. There, also, their 
peculiar religious rites were celebrated in just as peculiar a joss 
house, the hideously-painted gods not in the least becoming a 
deterrent factor. Juan Apablasa was among those who owned 
considerable property in Chinatown, and a street in that quarter 
perpetuates his name. 

Having crossed the Plaza, we entered Sonora Town, where 
my friend told me that every evening there was much indul- 
gence in drinking, smoking and gambling, and quite as much 
participation in dancing. Some of this life, which continued in 
full swing until the late seventies, I witnessed on my first 
evening in Los Angeles. 

Returning to Main Street, formerly Calle Principal, we 
entered the Montgomery, one of the well-known gambling 
houses — a one-story adobe about a hundred feet in width, in 
front of which was a shaded veranda — situated nearly opposite 
the Stearns home, and rather aristocratic, not only in its 
furnishings but also in its management. This resort was 
managed by the fearless William C, or Billy Getman, 
afterward Sheriff of Los Angeles County, whom I saw killed 
while trying to arrest a lunatic. The Montgomery was con- 

32 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

ducted in an orderly manner, and catered to the most fastidious 
people of Los Angeles, supplying liquors of a correspondingly 
high grade; the charge for a drink there being invariably 
twenty-five cents. It was provided with a billiard parlor, where 
matches were often arranged for a stake of hundreds of dollars. 
Games of chance there were for every requirement, the long 
and the short purse being equally well accommodated. The 
ranch owner could bet his hundreds, while he of lowlier estate 
might tempt the fickle goddess according to his narrower 

A fraternity of gamblers almost indigenous to California, 
and which has been celebrated and even, to an extent, 
glorified by such writers as Mark Twain, Bret Harte and 
others, was everywhere then in evidence in Los Angeles; and 
while it is true that their vocation was illegitimate, many 
of them represented nevertheless a splendid type of man: 
generous, honest in methods, courageous in operations and 
respected by everybody. It would be impossible, perhaps, to 
describe this class as I knew them and at the same time to 
satisfy the modern ideal; but pioneers will confirm my tribute 
to these early gamesters (among whom they may recall Brand 
Phillips) and their redeeming characteristics. 

As I have said, my brother, J. P. Newmark, was in partner- 
ship with Jacob Rich, the gentleman who met me when I 
reached San Francisco; their business being dry-goods and 
clothing. They were established in J. N. Padilla's adobe on the 
southeast corner of Main and Requena streets, a site so far 
"out of town" that success was possible only because of their 
catering to a wholesale clientele rather than to the retail trade ; 
and almost opposite them, ex-Mayor John G. Nichols con- 
ducted a small grocery in a store that he built on the Main 
Street side of the property now occupied by Temple Block. 
There was an old adobe wall running north and south along the 
east line of the lot, out of which Nichols cut about fifteen feet, 
using this property to a depth of some thirty feet, thus forming 
a rectangular space which he enclosed. Here he carried on a 
modest trade which, even in addition to his other cares, scarcely 

i853] First Adventures in Los Angeles 33 

demanded his whole time ; so that he would frequently visit his 
neighbors, among whom Newmark & Rich were his nearest 
friends. Often have I seen him therefore, long and lank, seated 
in my brother's store tilted back in a chair against the wall or 
merchandise, a cigar, which he never lighted, in his mouth, ex- 
horting his hearers to be patriotic and to purchase City land at 
a dollar an acre, thereby furnishing some of the taxes necessary 
to lubricate the municipal machinery. Little did any of us 
realize, as we listened to this man, that in the course of another 
generation or so there would spring into life a prosperous 
metropolis whose very heart would be situated near where old 
Mayor Nichols was vainly endeavoring to dispose of thirty- 
five-acre bargains at thirty-five dollars each — a feature of 
municipal cooperation with prospective settlers which was in- 
augurated August 13th, 1852, and repealed through dissatisfac- 
tion in 1854. Nichols, who, with J. S. Mallard and Lewis 
Granger, brought one of the first three American families to 
settle here permanently, and who married a sister of Mrs. 
Mallard, was the father of John Gregg Nichols, always claimed 
to be the first boy born (April 24th, 1 851), of American parents, 
in Los Angeles. Nichols when Mayor was never neglectful of 
his official duties, as may be seen from his record in providing 
Hancock's survey, his construction of the Bath Street School, 
his encouragement of better irrigation facilities, his introduc- 
tion of the first fruit grafts — brought, by the way, from far- 
off New York — and his reelection as Mayor in 1856, 1857, and 
1858. In 1869, another son, Daniel B. Nichols, of whom I shall 
speak, was a participant in a fatal shooting affray here. 

A still earlier survey than that of Hancock was made by 
Lieutenant Edward O. C. Ord — later distinguished in the 
Union Army where, singularly enough, he was fighting with 
Rosecrans, in time a resident of Los Angeles — who, in an effort 
to bring order out of the pueblo chaos, left still greater confusion. 
To clear up the difficulty of adobes isolated or stranded in the 
middle of the streets, the Common Council in 1854 permitted 
owners to claim a right of way to the thoroughfares nearest 
their houses. This brings to mind the fact that the vara, a 

34 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

Spanish unit equal to about thirty-three inches, was a standard 
in real estate measurements even after the advent of Ord, 
Hancock and Hansen, who were followed by such surveyors as 
P. J. Virgen (recalled by Virgen Street) and his partner Hardy ; 
and also that the reata was often used as a yardstick — its 
uncertain length having contributed, without doubt, to the 
chaotic condition confronting Ord. 

Graded streets and sidewalks were unknown; hence, after 
heavy winter rains mud was from six inches to two feet deep, 
while during the summer dust piled up to about the same extent. 
Few City ordinances were obeyed; for notwithstanding that a 
regulation of the City Council called on every citizen to sweep 
in front of his house to a certain point on Saturday evenings, 
not the slightest attention was paid to it. Into the roadway 
was thrown all the rubbish: if a man bought a new suit of 
clothes, a pair of boots, a hat or a shirt, to replace a correspond- 
ing part of his apparel that had outlived its usefulness, he would 
think nothing, on attiring himself in the new purchase, of toss- 
ing the discarded article into the street where it would remain 
until some passing Indian, or other vagabond;, took possession 
of it. So wretched indeed were the conditions, that I have seen 
dead animals left on the highways for days at a time, and can 
recall one instance of a horse dying on Alameda Street and 
lying there until a party of Indians cut up the carcass for food. 
What made these street conditions more trying was the fact 
that on hot days roads and sidewalks were devoid of shade, ex- 
cept for that furnished by a few scattered trees or an occasional 
projecting veranda ; while at night (if I except the illumination 
from the few lanterns suspended in front of barrooms and stores) 
thoroughfares were altogether unlighted. In those nights of 
dark streets and still darker tragedies, people rarely went out 
unless equipped with candle-burning lanterns, at least until 
camphine was imported by my brother, after which this was 
brought into general use. Stores were lighted in the same 
manner: first with candles, then with camphine and finally 
with coal-oil, during which period of advancement lamps re- 
placed the cruder contrivances. 

i853] First Adventures in Los Angeles 35 

Southern California from the first took an active part in 
State affairs. Edward Hunter and Charles E. Carr were the 
Assemblymen from this district in 1853; and the following year 
they were succeeded by Francis Melius and Dr. Wilson W. 
Jones. Carr was a lawyer who had come in 1852; Hunter 
afterward succeeded Pablo de la Guerra as Marshal. Jones was 
the doctor who just about the time I came, while returning 
from a professional call at the Lugos at about sunset, nearly 
rode over the bleeding and still warm body of a cattle-buyer 
named Porter, on Alameda Street. The latter had been out to 
the Dominguez rancho, to purchase stock, and had taken along 
with him a Mexican named Manuel Vergara who introduced 
himself as an experienced interpreter and guide, but who was, 
in reality, a cutthroat with a record of one or two assassina- 
tions. Vergara observed that Porter possessed considerable 
money ; and on their way back to Los Angeles shot the Ameri- 
can from behind. Jones quickly gave the alarm ; and Banning, 
Stanley and others of the volunteer mounted police pursued 
the murderer for eighty-five or ninety miles when, the ammuni- 
tion of all parties being exhausted, Vergara turned on the one 
Vigilante who had caught up with him and, with an adroit thrust 
of his knife, cut the latter's bridle and escaped. In the end, 
however, some of Major Heintzelman's cavalry at Yuma (who 
had been informed by a fleet Indian hired to carry the news of 
the fugitive's flight) overtook Vergara and shot him dead. 
These volunteer police or Rangers, as they were called, were a 
company of one hundred or more men under command of Dr. 
A. W. Hope, and included such well-known early settlers as 
Nichols, J. G. Downey, S. C. Foster, Agustin Olvera, Juan 
Sepulveda, Horace Bell, M. Keller, Banning, Benjamin Hayes, 
F. L. Guirado, David Alexander, J. L. Brent and I. S. K. Ogier. ' 

Under the new order of things, too, following the adoption 
in 1849 of a State constitution. County organization in Los 
Angeles was effected; and by the time I declared myself for 
American citizenship, several efections had been held. Ben- 
jamin Hayes was District Judge in 1853; Agustin Olvera was 
finishing his term as County Judge; Dr. Wilson W. Jones was 

36 Sixty Years in Southern California I1853 

County Clerk and Recorder — two offices not separated for 
twenty years or until 1873; Lewis Granger was County 
Attorney; Henry Hancock was Surveyor; Francis Melius 
(who succeeded Don Manuel Garfias, once the princely owner 
but bad manager of the San Pasqual rancho), was Treasurer; 
A. F. Coronel was Assessor; James R. Barton was Sheriff and 
also Collector of Taxes; and J. S. Mallard, whose name was 
given to Mallard Street, was Coroner. Russell Sackett was a 
Justice of the leace here when I arrived; and after a while 
Mallard had a court as Justice, near my store on Commercial 
Street. All in all, a group of rather strong men ! 

The administrative officials of both the City and the 
County had their headquarters in the one-story adobe building 
at the northwest corner of Franklin Alley (later called Jail 
Street') and Spring Street. In addition to those mentioned, 
there was a Justice of the Peace, a Zanjero, and a Jailer. An- 
tonio Franco Coronel had but recently succeeded Nichols as 
Mayor; A. S. Beard was IMarshal and Tax Collector; Judge 
William G. Dryden was Clerk; C. E. Carr was Attorney; 
Ygnacio Coronel was Assessor; and S. Arbuckle was Treasurer. 

Antonio Franco Coronel, after whom Coronel Street is 
named, had just entered upon the duties of Mayor, and was 
busy enough with the disposal of donation lots when I first 
commenced to observe Los Angeles' government. He came 
from Mexico to California with his father, Don Ygnacio F. 
Coronel; and by 1850 he was the first County Assessor. He 
lived at what is now Alameda and Seventh streets, and had a 
brother, Manuel, who was City Assessor in 1858. 

Major Henry Hancock, a New Hampshire la\v^er and 
surveyor, came to Los Angeles in 1852, and at the time of my 
arrival had just made the second survey of the city, defining 
the boundaries of the thirty-five-acre City lots. I met him 
frequently, and by 1859 I was well acquainted with him. He 
then owed Newmark, Kremer & Company some money and 
offered, toward liquidation of the debt, one hundred and ten 
acres of land lying along Washington and extending as far as 

' In April, 1872, officially named Franklin Street. 

i853] First Adventures in Los Angeles 37 

the present Pico Street. It also reached from Main Street to 
what is now Grand Avenue. Newmark, Kremer & Company- 
did not wish the land, and so arranged with Hancock to take 
firewood instead. From time to time, therefore, he brought 
great logs into town, to be cut up ; he also bought a circular saw, 
which he installed, with horse-power and tread-mill, in a vacant 
lot on Spring Street, back of Joseph Newmark's second resi- 
dence. The latter was on Main Street, between First and the 
northern junction of Main and Spring; and between this junction 
and First Street, it may be interesting to note, there was in 
1853 no thoroughfare from Main to Spring. As I was living 
there, I acted as his agent for the sale of the wood that was left 
after our settlement. The fact is that Hancock was always 
land poor, and never out of debt ; and when he was particularly 
hard up, he parted with his possessions at whatever price they 
would bring. The Major (earlier known as Captain Hancock, 
who enjoyed his titles through his association with the militia) 
retained, however, the celebrated La Brea rancho — bought at a 
very early date from A. J. Rocha, and lying between the city 
and the sea — which he long thought would furnish oil, but 
little dreamt would also contain som.e of the most important 
prehistoric finds; and this ranch, once managed by his wife, a 
daughter of Colonel Augustin Haraszthy, the San Francisco 
pioneer, is now owned by his son, George Allan Hancock. 

George Hansen, to whose far-reaching foresight we owe the 
Elysian Park of to-day, was another professional man who was 
here before I reached Los Angeles, having come to California 
in 1850, by way of Cape Horn and Peru. When he arrived at 
Los Angeles, in 1853, as he was fond of recounting, he was too 
poor to possess even surveying instruments; but he found a 
friend in John Temple, who let him have one hundred dollars 
at two per cent, interest per month, then a very low rate. 
Thereupon Hansen sent to San Francisco for the outfit that 
enabled him to establish himself. I met Hansen for the first 
time in the last few weeks of 1853, when he came to my brother's 
store to buy a suit of clothes, his own being in rags. He had 
been out, very probably, on an expedition such as subjected 

38 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

a surveyor, particularly in the early days, to much hard work 
and fatigue. Hansen, a good student and fine linguist, was 
prominent for many years and made more land measurements 
hereabouts than did any one else ; he had the real management, 
in fact, of Hancock's second survey. 

Among others who were here, I might mention the Wheeler 
brothers. Colonel John Ozias Wheeler, at various times an 
office-holder, came to California from Florida, and having 
endured many hardships on the trip along the Mississippi, 
Arkansas and Gila rivers, arrived at the Chino rancho on August 
1 2th, 1849, afterward assisting Isaac Williams in conveying a 
train of supplies back to the Colorado River. The next year 
he was joined by his brother, Horace Z. Wheeler, who came by 
way of the Isthmus, and later rose to be Appraiser-General of 
the Imperial Customs at Yokohama; and the two young men 
were soon conducting a general merchandise business in Los 
Angeles — if I recollect aright, in a one-story adobe at the 
northeast corner of Main and Commercial streets. Extravagant 
stories have been printed as to Wheeler's mercantile operations, 
one narrative crediting him with sales to the extent of five 
thousand dollars or more a day. In those times, however, no 
store was large enough to contain such a stock; and two 
successive days of heavy sales would have been impossible. In 
1 85 1 Colonel Wheeler, who had been on General Andres 
Pico's staff, served as a Ranger; and in 1853 he organized the 
first military company in Los Angeles. 

Manuel Requena, from Yucatan, was another man of in- 
fluence. He lived on the east side of Los Angeles Street, north 
of the thoroughfare opened through his vineyard and named 
after him — later extended east of Los Angeles Street. As early 
as June, 1836, Requena, then Alcalde, made a census of this 
district. He was a member of the first, as well as the second, 
third, fifth and seventh Common Councils, and with David W. 
Alexander was the only member of the first body to serve out 
the entire term. In 1852, Requena was elected a Supervisor. 
Mrs. Requena was a sister of Mrs. Alexander Bell and Mrs. 
James, or Santiago Johnson, and an aunt of Henry and Francis 

1853] First Adventures in Los Angeles 39 

Melius and Mrs. J. H. Lander. Requena died on June 27th, 
1876, aged seventy-four years. 

Henry N. Alexander appeared in Los Angeles at about the 
same time that I did — possibly afterward — and was very active 
as a Ranger. He too occupied positions of trust, in business 
as well as public life, being both City and County Treasurer — 
in the latter case, preceding Maurice Kremer. It is not sur- 
prising, therefore, that he became Wells Fargo & Company's 
agent when much uphill work had to be done to establish 
their interests here. He married a daughter of Don Pedro 
Dominguez. Alexander moved to Arizona, after which I lost 
track of him. 

John W. Shore, who was here in 1853, was County Clerk 
from 1854 to 1857, and again from i860 to 1863. He always 
canvassed for votes on horseback until, one day, he fell off and 
broke his leg, necessitating amputation. This terminated his 
active campaigns; but through sympathy he was reelected, and 
by a larger majority. Shore was a Democrat. 

Mention of public officials leads me to speak of an interest- 
ing personality long associated with them. On the west side of 
Spring Street near First, where the Schumacher Building 
now stands, John Schumacher conducted, in a single room, as 
was then common, a grocery store and bar. A good-hearted, 
honest German of the old school, and a first-class citizen, 
he had come from Wurtemberg to America, and then, with 
Stevenson's Regiment, to California, arriving in Los Angeles 
in 1847 or 1848. From here he went to Sutter's Creek, where he 
found a nugget of gold worth eight hundred dollars, for which 
he was offered land in San Francisco later worth millions— a 
tender which the Wiirtemberger declined; and the same year 
that I arrived, he returned to Los Angeles, whose activity had 
increased considerably since he had last seen it. In 1855, 
Schumacher married Fraulein Mary Uhrie, from which union 
six children including two sons, John and Frank G. Schumacher, 
were born. The eldest daughter became Mrs. Edward A. 
Preuss. Schumacher established his store, having bought 
nearly the whole block bounded by Spring and First streets 

40 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

and Franklin Alley for the value of his famous gold nugget; 
and there he remained until the early seventies, the Schumacher 
Block being built, as I have said, on a part of the property. 
Mrs. Schumacher in 1880 met with a tragic death: while at the 
railway station in Merced, she was jolted from the platform 
of a car and was instantly killed. 

For something else, however, Schumacher was especially 
known. When he returned in 1853, he put on sale the first lager 
beer introduced into Los Angeles, importing the same from San 
Francisco, of which enterprise the genial German was proud; 
but Schumacher acquired even more fame for a drink that he 
may be said to have invented, and which was known to the 
early settlers as Peach and Honey. It contained a good mixture 
with peach brandy, and was a great favorite, especially with 
politicians and frequenters of the neighboring Courthouse, 
including well-known members of the Bar, all of whom crowded 
John's place, "between times," to enjoy his much-praised 
concoction. Whenever in fact anyone had a cold, or fancied 
that he was going to be so afflicted, he hastened to John for his 
reputedly-certain cure. Schumacher, who served as Councilman 
in 1855, 1856 and 1857, was proficient in languages and, as an 
interpreter, often gave his time and services freely in assisting 
his less-gifted neighbors, particularly the poor and unfortunate, 
to straighten out their affairs. In the fall of i860, he had a 
narrow escape through the carelessness of a customer who 
threw a lighted match into a can of powder. Schumacher 
owned some acreage in what was known as the Green Meadows, 
a section located near what is now South Figueroa Street ; and 
this land he held with Jacob Bell, who was assassinated, as I 
shall relate, by a Frenchman named Lachenais — hanged, in 
turn, by an exasperated mob. 

Most political meetings of that period took place at the 
Plaza home of Don Ygnacio Del Valle, first County Recorder. 
From 1 84 1, Don Ygnacio lived for some time on the San Fran- 
cisco rancho granted by the King of Spain to his father and con- 
firmed by patent in 1875. He also owned the more famous 
Camiilos rancho on the Santa Clara River, consisting of several 

i853l First Adventures in Los Angeles 41 

thousand acres north and west of Newhall, afterward selected 
by Helen Hunt Jackson as the setting for some of the scenes in 
her novel, Ramona; and these possessions made him a man of 
great importance. During his later life, when he had abandoned 
his town residence, Del Valle dwelt in genteel leisure at the 
rancho, dying there in 1880; and I will not miss this opportunity 
to attest his patrician bearing and genial qualities. 

At the time of my arrival, there was but one voting precinct 
and the polling place was located at the old municipal and 
County adobe already spoken of; although later a second polls 
was established at the Round House. Inside the room, sat the 
election judges and clerks; outside a window, stood the jam of 
voters. The window-sill corresponded to the thickness of the 
adobe wall, and was therefore about three feet deep. This sill 
served as a table, upon it being placed a soap- or candle-box, 
into which a hole had been cut for the deposit of the votes. 

There was also no register, either great or small, and anyone 
could vote. Each party printed its own tickets; and so could 
any candidate. This resulted in great confusion, since there 
were always many tickets in the field — as many, in fact, as 
there were candidates; yet the entire proceeding had become 
legalized by custom. The candidate of one party could thus 
use the ticket of the other, substituting his own name for his 
opponent's, and leaving all of the remainder of the ticket un- 
changed; in addition to which there was such a lack of uni- 
formity in the size and color of the ballots as greatly to add to 
the confusion in counting. 

To make matters worse, the ballot-box was not easily 
reached because of the crowd which was made up largely 
of the candidates and their friends. Challenging was the 
order of the day; yet, after crimination and recrimination, the 
votes were generally permitted to be cast. Although it is true, 
of course, that many votes were legitimate, yet aliens such as 
Mexicans, who had not even considered the question of taking 
out citizenship papers, were permitted to vote while Indians and 
half-breeds, who were not eligible to citizenship at all, were ir- 
regularly given the franchise. The story is told of an election 

42 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

not far from Los Angeles at which a whole tribe of Indians 
was voted; while on another occasion the names on a steamer's 
passenger-list were utilized by persons who had already voted, 
that very day, once or twice! Cutting off the hair, shaving 
one's beard or mustache, reclothing or otherwise transforming 
the appearance of the voter — these were some of the tricks 
then practiced, which the new registry law of 1866 only 
partially did away with. 

Sonorans, who had recently arrived from Mexico, as well as 
the aliens I have mentioned, were easy subjects for the political 
manipulator. The various candidates, for example, would 
round-up these prospective voters like so many cattle, confine 
them in corrals (usually in the neighborhood of Boyle 
Heights), keep them in a truly magnificent state of intoxica- 
tion until the eventful morning, and then put them in stages 
hired from either Banning or Tomlinson for the purpose; and 
from the time the temporary prisoners left the corral until 
their votes had been securely deposited, they were closely 
watched by guards. On reaching the voting place, the captives 
were unloaded from the stage like so much inanimate baggage, 
and turned over to friends of the candidate to whom, so to 
speak, for the time being they belonged. One at a time, these 
creatures were led to vote ; and as each staggered to the ballot- 
box, a ticket was held up and he was made to deposit it. 
Once having served the purpose, he was turned loose and re- 
mained free until another election unless, as I have intimated, 
he and his fellows were again corralled and made to vote a 
second or even a third time the same day. 

Nearly all influential Mexicans were Democrats, so that 
this party easily controlled the political situation; from which 
circumstance a certain brief campaign ended in a most amusing 
manner. It happened that Thomas H. Workman, brother of 
William H., once ran for County Clerk, although he was not a 
Democrat. Billy was naturally much interested in his brother's 
candidacy, and did what he could to help him. On the evening 
before election, he rented a corral — located near what is now 
Macy Street and Mission Road, on property later used by 

i853l First Adventures in Los Angeles 43 

Charles F., father of Alfred Stern, and for years in partnership 
with L. J. Rose; and there, with the assistance of some friends, 
he herded together about one hundred docile though illegal 
voters, most of whom were Indians, kept them all night and, 
by supplying fire-water liberally, at length led them into the 
state of bewilderment necessary for such an occasion. The 
Democratic leaders, however, having learned of this magnifi- 
cent coup, put their heads together and soon resolved to thwart 
Billy's plan. In company with some prominent Mexican 
politicians led by Tomas Sanchez, they loaded themselves 
into a stage and visited the corral; and once arrived there, 
those that could made such flowery stump speeches in the 
native language of the horde that, in fifteen or twenty minutes, 
they had stampeded the whole band ! Billy entered a vigorous 
protest, saying that the votes were his and that it was a 
questionable and even a damnable trick; but all his protests 
were of no avail: the bunch of corralled voters had been cap- 
tured in a body by the opposition, deciding the contest. These 
were the methods then in vogue in accordance with which it 
was considered a perfectly legitimate transaction to buy votes, 
and there was no secret made of the modus operandi by either 

During these times of agitated politics, newspapers (such as 
they were) played an important part. In them were published 
letters written by ambitious candidates to themselves and 
signed, "The People," "A Disinterested Citizen," or some 
equally anonymous phrase. As an exception to the usual 
maneuver, however, the following witty announcement was 
once printed by an office-seeker: 

George N. Whitman, not having been requested by "Many 
Friends," or solicited by "Many Voters," to become a candi- 
date for the office of Township Constable, at the end of the 
ensuing September election, offers himself. 

Here I am reminded of an anecdote at the expense of John 
Quincy Adams Stanley, who in 1856 ran for Sheriff against 
David W. Alexander, and was County Assessor in the middle 

44 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853] 

seventies. Stanley was a very decent but somewhat over- 
trusting individual; and ignoring suggestions as to expendi- 
tures for votes, too readily believed promises of support by the 
voters of the county, almost every one of whom gave him a 
favorable pledge in the course of the campaign. When the 
ballots were counted, however, and Stanley learned that he 
had received just about fifty votes, he remarked, rather dr>'ly: 
"I didn't know that there were so many damned liars in the 

Another interesting factor in early elections was the vote 
of Tehachepi, then in Los Angeles County. About thirty votes 
were cast there; but as communication with Los Angeles was 
irregular, it was sometimes necessary to wait a week or more 
to know what bearing the decision of Tehachepi had on the 
general result. 



IN the primitive fifties there were but comparatively few re- 
putable lawyers in this neighborhood; nor was there, per- 
haps, sufficient call for their services to insure much of a 
living to many more. To a greater extent even than now, 
attorneys were called "Judge;" and at the time whereof I 
write, the most important among them were Jonathan R. 
Scott, Benjamin Hayes, J. Lancaster Brent, Myron Norton, 
General Ezra Drown, Benjamin S. Eaton, Cameron E. Thom, 
James H. Lander, Lewis Granger, Isaac Stockton Keith Ogier, 
Edward J. C. Kewen and Joseph R. Gitchell. In addition to 
these, there was a lawyer named William G. Dryden, of whom 
I shall presently speak, and one Kimball H. Dimmick, who 
was largely devoted to criminal practice. 

Scott, who had been a prominent lawyer in Missouri, stood 
very high, both as to physique and reputation. In addition to 
his great stature, he had a splendid constitution and wonderful 
vitality and was identified with nearly every important case. 
About March, 1850, he came here an overland emigrant, and 
was made one of the two justices of the peace who formed, 
with the county judge, on June 24th, the first Court of Sessions. 
He then entered into partnership with Benjamin Hayes, con- 
tinuing in joint practice with him until April, 1852, after which 
he was a member successively of the law firms of Scott & 
Granger, Scott & Lander, and Scott, Drown & Lander. Prac- 


46 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

ticing law in those days was not without its difficulties, partly 
because of the lack of law-books- and Scott used to tell in his 
own vehement style how, on one occasion, when he was de- 
fending a French sea captain against charges preferred by a 
rich Peruvian passenger, he was unable to make much headway 
because there was but one volume (Kent's Commentaries) 
in the whole pueblo that threw any light, so to speak, on the 
question; which lack of information induced Alcalde Stearns 
to decide against Scott's client. Although the Captain lost, he 
nevertheless counted out to Scott, in shining gold-pieces, the 
full sum of one thousand dollars as a fee. In 1859, a daughter 
of Scott married Alfred Beck Chapman, a graduate of West 
Point, who came to Los Angeles and Fort Tejon, as an officer, 
about 1854. Chapman later studied law with Scott, and for 
twenty years practiced with Andrew Glassell. In 1863, Chap- 
man succeeded M. J. Newmark as City Attorney; and in 1868, 
he was elected District Attorney. If I recollect rightly, Scott 
died in the sixties, survived by Mrs. Scott — a sister of both 
Mrs. J. S. Mallard and Mrs. J. G. Nichols — and a son, J. R. 
Scott, admitted in 1880 to practice in the Supreme Court. 

Hayes was District Judge when I came, and continued as 
such for ten or twelve years. His jurisdiction embraced Los 
Angeles, San Diego, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara 
counties ; and the latter section then included Ventura County. 
The Judge had regular terms in these districts and was com- 
pelled to hold court at all of the County seats. A native of 
Baltimore, Hayes came to Los Angeles on February 3d, 1850 
— ^followed on St. Valentine's Day, 1852, by his wife whose 
journey from St. Louis, via New Orleans, Havana and Panama, 
consumed forty-three days on the steamers. He was at once 
elected the first County Attorney, and tried the famous case 
against the Irving party. About the same time Hayes formed 
his partnership with Scott. In January, 1855, and while 
District Judge, Hayes sentenced the murderer Brown; and in 
1858 he presided at Pancho Daniel's trial. Hayes continued 
to practice for many years, and was known as a jurist of high 
standing, though on account of his love for strong drink, court 

i853]i Lawyers and Courts 47 

on more than one occasion had to be adjourned. During his 
residence here, he was known as an assiduous collector of his- 
torical data. He was a brother of both Miss Louisa Hayes, 
the first woman public-school teacher in Los Angeles, later the 
wife of Dr. J. S. Grififin, and Miss Helena Hayes, who married 
Benjamin S. Eaton. Judge Hayes dicvd on August 4th, 1877. 

Brent, a native of the South, was also a man of attainment, 
arriving here in 1850 with a fairly representative, though in- 
adequate library, and becoming in 1855 and 1856 a member of 
the State Assembly. He had such wonderful influence, as one 
of the Democratic leaders, that he could nominate at will any 
candidate; and being especially popular with the Mexican 
element, could also tell a good story or two about fees. When 
trouble arose in 1851 between several members of the Lugo 
family and the Indians, resulting finally in an attempted assas- 
sination and the narrow escape from death of Judge Hayes 
(who was associated with the prosecution of the case), several 
of the Lugos were tried for murder; and Brent, whose defense 
led to their acquittal, received something like twenty thousand 
dollars for his services. He was of a studious turn of mind 
and acquired most of Hugo Reid's Indian library. When the 
Civil War broke out, Brent went South again and became a 
Confederate brigadier-general. Brent Street bears his name. 

Norton, a Vermonter, who had first practiced law in New 
York, then migrated west, and had later been a prime mover 
for, and a member of, the first California Constitutional Conven- 
tion, and who was afterward Superior Court Judge at San Fran- 
cisco, was an excellent lawyer, when sober, and a good fellow. 
He came to the Coast in the summer of 1848, was made First 
Lieutenant and Chief-of-Staff of the California Volunteers, and 
drifted in 1852 from Monterey to Los Angeles. He joined 
Bean's Volunteers, and in 1857 delivered here a flowery Fourth 
of July oration. Norton was the second County Judge, suc- 
ceeding Agustin Olvera and living with the latter's family at the 
Plaza; and it was from Norton's Court of Sessions, in May, 
1855, that the dark-skinned Juan Flores was sent to the State 
prison, although few persons suspected him to be guilty of such 

48 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

criminal tendencies as he later developed. Norton died in Los 
Angeles in 1887; and Norton Avenue recalls his life and work. 

Judge Hayes' successor, Don Pablo de la Guerra, was born 
in the presidio of Santa Barbara in 18 19, a member of one of the 
most popular families of that locality. Although a Spaniard 
of the Spaniards, he had been educated in an Eastern college, 
and spoke English fluently. Four times he was elected State 
Senator from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, and was 
besides a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1849. 
Late in 1863, he was a candidate for District Judge when 
a singular opposition developed that might easily have led, 
in later years at least, to his defeat. A large part of the 
population of Santa Barbara was related to him by blood or 
marriage; and it was argued that, if elected, De la Guerra in 
many cases would be disqualified from sitting as judge. On 
January 1st, 1864, however, Don Pablo took up the work as Dis- 
trict Judge where Hayes surrendered it. Just as De la Guerra 
in 1854 had resigned in favor of Hunter, before completing his 
term as United States Marshal, so now toward the end of 1873, 
De la Guerra withdrew on account of ill-health from the dis- 
trict judgeship, and on February 5th, 1874, ^^ died. 

Drown was a lawyer who came here a few months before I 
did, having just passed through one of those trying ordeals 
which might easily prove sufficient to destroy the courage and 
ambition of any man. He hailed from Iowa, where he had 
served as Brigadier-General of Militia, and was bound up the 
Coast from the Isthmus on the steamer Independence when it 
took fire, off Lower California, and burned to the water's edge. 
General Drown, being a good swimmer and a plucky fellow, 
set his wife adrift on a hencoop and then put off for shore with 
his two children on his back. Having deposited them safely on 
the beach, he swam back to get his wife; but a brutal fellow- 
passenger pushed the fainting woman off when her agonized 
husband was within a few feet of her; she sank beneath the 
waves, and he saw his companion go to her doom at the moment 
she was about to be rescued. Though broken in spirit. Drown 
on landing at San Pedro came to Los Angeles with his two 

1853] Lawyers and Courts 49 

boys, and put his best foot forward. He established himself 
as a lawyer and in 1858 became District Attorney, succeeding 
Cameron E. Thom; and it was during his term that Pancho 
Daniel was lynched. In 1855, too, Drown instituted the first 
Los Angeles lodge of Odd Fellows. Drown was an able lawyer, 
eloquent and humorous, and fairly popular; but his generosity 
affected his material prosperity, and he died, at San Juan 
Capistrano, on August 17th, 1863, none too blessed with this 
world's goods. 

Dimmick, who at one time occupied an office in the old 
Temple Block on Main Street, had rather an eventful career. 
Born in Connecticut, he learned the printer's trade; then 
he studied law and was soon admitted to practice in New York ; 
and in 1846 he sailed with Colonel J. D. Stevenson, in command 
of Company K, landing, six months later, at the picturesquely- 
named Yerba Buena, on whose slopes the bustling town of San 
Francisco was so soon to be founded. When peace with Mexico 
was established, Dimmick moved to San Jose; after which 
with Foster he went to the convention whose mission was to 
frame a State constitution, and was later chosen Judge of the 
Supreme Court. In 1852, after having revisited the East and 
been defrauded of practically all he possessed by those to 
whom he had entrusted his California affairs, Dimmick came 
to Los Angeles and served as Justice of the Peace, Notary 
Public and County Judge. He was also elected District 
Attorney, and at another time was appointed by the Court to 
defend the outlaw, Pancho Daniel. Dimmick's practice was 
really largely criminal, which frequently made him a defender 
of horse-thieves, gamblers and desperadoes ; and in such cases 
one could always anticipate his stereotyped plea: 

Gentlemen of the Jury : The District Attorney prosecuting my 
client is paid by the County to convict this prisoner, whether he 
be guilty or innocent; and I plead with you, gentlemen, in the 
name of Impartial Justice, to bring in a verdict of " Not guilty ! " 

Through the help of his old-time friend, Secretary William 
H. Seward, Dimmick toward the end of his life was appointed 

50 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

Attorney for the Southern District of the United States in 
California; but on September nth, 1861, he suddenly died of 
heart disease. 

Eaton, another prominent representative of the Bar, came 
from New England as early as 1850, while California govern- 
ment was in its infancy and life anything but secure; and he 
had not been here more than a few months when the maneu- 
vers of Antonio Garra, Agua Caliente's chief, threatened an 
insurrection extending from Tulare to San Diego and made 
necessary the organization, under General J. H, Bean, of 
volunteers to allay the terror-stricken community's fears. 
Happily, the company's chief activity was the quieting of 
feminine nerves. On October 3d, 1853, Eaton was elected 
District Attorney and in 1857, County Assessor. Later, after 
living for a while at San Gabriel, Eaton became a founder of the 
Pasadena colony, acting as its President for several years; and 
in 1876 he was one of the committee to arrange for the local 
Centennial celebration. Frederick Eaton, several times City 
Engineer and once — in 1 899-1 900 — Mayor of Los Angeles, is 
a son of Benjamin Eaton and his first wife, Helena Hayes, who 
died a few years after she came here, and the brother of Mrs. 
Hancock Johnston. He reflects no little credit on his father by 
reason of a very early, effective advocacy of the Owens River 
Aqueduct, Under his administration, the City began this 
colossal undertaking, which was brought to a happy consumma- 
tion in the year 1913 through the engineering skill of William 
MulhoUand, Eaton's friend. In 1861, Judge Eaton married 
Miss Alice Taylor Clark, of Providence, R. L, who is still living. 

While I am upon this subject of lawyers and officialdom, a 
few words regarding early jurists and court decorum may be in 
order. In 1853, Judge Dry den, who had arrived in 1850, was 
but a Police Justice, not yet having succeeded Dimmick as 
County Judge; and at no time was his knowledge of the law 
and things pertaining thereto other than extremely limited. 
His audacity, however, frequently sustained him in positions 
that otherwise might have been embarrassing; and this auda- 
city was especially apparent in Dryden's strong opposition to 

Henry Melius 

From a Daguerreotype 

Francis Melius 

From a Daguerreotype 

m ^ 

John G. Downey 

Charles L. Ducommun 

i853] Lawyers and Courts 51 

the criminal element. He talked with the volubility of a Gatling 
gun, expressing himself in a quick, nervous manner and was, 
besides, very profane. One day he was trying a case, when 
Captain Cameron E. Thom (who had first come to Los Angeles 
in 1854, as the representative of the National Government, 
to take testimony before Commissioner Burrill) was one of 
the attorneys. During the progress of the case, Thom had 
occasion to read a lengthy passage from some statute book. 
Interrupting him, the Judge asked to see the weighty volume; 
when, having searched in vain for the citation, he said in 
his characteristic, jerky way: 

"I'll be damned, Mr. Thom, if I can find that law!" 

All of which recalls to me a report, once printed in the Los 
Angeles Star, concerning this same jurist and an inquest 
held by him over a dead Indian : 

Justice Dryden and the Jury sat on the body. The verdict 
was: "Death from intoxication, or by the visitation of God!" 

Dryden, who was possessed of a genial personality, was 
long remembered with pleasure for participation in Fourth of 
July celebrations and processions. He was married, I believe, 
in 1 85 1, only one year after he arrived here, to Senorita Dolores 
Nieto; and she having died, he took as his second wife, in 
September, 1868, another Spanish lady, Sefiorita Anita Domin- 
guez, daughter of Don Manuel Dominguez. Less than a year 
afterward, on September loth, 1869, Judge Dryden himself 
died at the age of seventy years. 

Thom, by the way, came from Virginia in 1849 and ad- 
vanced rapidly in his profession. It was far from his expecta- 
tion to remain in Los Angeles longer than was necessary; and 
he has frequently repeated to me the story of his immediate 
infatuation with this beautiful section and its cheering climate, 
and how he fell in love with the quaint little pueblo at first 
sight. Soon after he decided to remain here, he was assigned 
as associate counsel to defend Pancho Daniel, after the retire- 
ment of Columbus Sims. In 1856, Thom was appointed both 

52 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

City and District Attorney, and occupied the two positions at 
the same time — an odd situation which actually brought it 
about, during his tenure of offices, that a land dispute between 
the City and the County obliged Thorn to defend both inter- 
ests! In 1863, he was a partner with A. B. Chapman; and 
twenty years later, having previously served as State Senator, 
he was elected Mayor of the city. Captain Thorn married two 
sisters — first choosing Miss Susan Henrietta Hathwell, and 
then, sometime after her death, leading to the altar Miss Belle 
Cameron Hathwell whom he had named and for whom, when 
she was baptized, he had stood godfather. A man ultimately 
affluent, he owned, among other properties, a large ranch at 
Glendale. ' 

Another good story concerning Judge Dryden comes to 
mind, recalling a certain Sheriff. As the yarn goes, the latter 
presented himself as a candidate for the office of Sheriff; and 
in order to capture the vote of the native element, he also 
offered to marry the daughter of an influential Mexican. A 
bargain was concluded and, as the result, he forthwith 
assumed the responsibilities and dangers of both shrieval and 
matrimonial life. 

Before the Sheriff had possessed this double dignity very 
long, however, a gang of horse-thieves began depredations 
around Los Angeles. A posse was immediately organized to 
pursue the desperadoes, and after a short chase they located 
the band and brought them into Los Angeles. Imagine the 
Sheriff's dismay, when he found that the leader was none other 
than his own brother-in-law whom he had never before seen ! 

To make the story short, the case was tried and the prisoner 
was found guilty; but owing to influence (to which most 
juries in those days were very susceptible) there was an ap- 
peal for judicial leniency. Judge Dryden, therefore, in an- 
nouncing the verdict, said to the Sheriff's brother-in-law, 
"The jury finds you guilty as charged," and then proceeded 
to read the prisoner a long and severe lecture, to which he 
added: "But the jury recommends clemency. Accordingly, I 

'Thorn died on February 2d, 1915. 

1853] Lawyers and Courts 53 

declare you a free man, and you may go about your business." 
Thereupon someone in the room asked : "What is his business? " 
To which the Judge, never flinching, shouted: "Horse-stealing, 
sir! horse-stealing! " 

Lander was here in 1853, having come from the East the 
year previous. He was a Harvard College graduate — there 
were not many on the Coast in those days — and was known as a 
good office-practitioner; he was for some time, in fact, the Bar's 
choice for Court Commissioner. I think that, for quite a while, 
he was the only examiner of real estate titles ; he was certainly 
the only one I knew. On October 15th, 1852, Lander had mar- 
ried Senorita Margarita, a daughter of Don Santiago Johnson, 
who was said to have been one of the best known business men 
prior to 1846. Afterward Lander lived in a cottage on the 
northeast corner of Fourth and Spring streets. This cottage 
he sold to I. W. Hellman in the early seventies, for four 
thousand dollars; and Hellman, in turn, sold it at cost to his 
brother. On that lot, worth to-day probably a million dollars, 
the H. W. Hellman Building now stands. Lander died on 
June loth, 1873. 

Granger was still another lawyer who was here when I 
arrived, he having come with his family — one of the first 
American households to be permanently established here — in 
1850. By 1852, he had formed a partnership with Jonathan 
R. Scott, and in that year attained popularity through his 
Fourth of July oration. Granger was, in fact, a fluent and 
attractive speaker, which accounted, perhaps, for his election 
as City Attorney in 1855, after he had served the city as a 
member of the Common Council in 1854. I^ I recollect aright, 
he was a candidate for the district judgeship in the seventies, 
but was defeated. 

Ogier, a lawyer from Charleston, S. C, came to California 
in 1849, and to Los Angeles in 185 1, forming a partnership on 
May 31st of that year with Don Manuel Clemente Rojo, a 
clever, genial native of Peru. On September 29th, Ogier 
succeeded William C. Ferrell, the first District Attorney; in 
1853, he joined the voluntary police; and later served, for 

54 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

some years, as United States District Judge. He died at 
Holcombe Valley in May, 1861. Ogier Street, formeriy Ogier 
Lane, was named for him. Rojo, after dividing his time 
between the law and the Spanish editorial work on the Star, 
wandered off to Lower California and there became a "sub- 
political chief." 

Kewen, a native of ^Mississippi and a veteran of the Mexican 
War, came to Los Angeles in 1858 with the title of Colonel, 
after fiasco followed his efforts, in the Southern States, to 
raise relief for the filibuster Walker, on whose expedition A. L. 
Kewen, a brother, had been killed in the battle at Rivas, 
Nicaragua, in June, 1855. Once a practitioner at law in St. 
Louis, Kewen was elected California's first Attorney-General, 
and even prior to the delivery of his oration before the Society 
of Pioneers at San Francisco, in 1854, he was distinguished 
for his eloquence. In 1858, he was Superintendent of Los 
Angeles City Schools. In the sixties, Kewen and Norton 
formed a partnership. Settling on an undulating tract of some 
four hundred and fifty acres near San Gabriel, including the ruins 
of the old Mission mill and now embracing the grounds of the 
Huntington Hotel, Kewen repaired the house and converted it 
into a cosy and even luxurious residence, calling the estate 
ornamented with gardens and fountains. El Molino — a title 
perpetuated in the name of the present suburb. Kewen was 
also a member of the State Assembly and, later, District 
Attorney. He died in November, 1879. 

Gitchell, United States District Attorney in the late fifties, 
practiced here for many years. He was a jolly old bachelor 
and was popular, although he did not attain eminence. 

Isaac Hartman, an attorney, and his wife, who were among 
the particularly agreeable people here in 1853, soon left for the 

Volney E. Howard came \sith his family in the late fifties. 
He left San Francisco, where he had been practicing law, rather 
suddenly, and at a time when social conditions in the city 
were demoralized, and the citizens, as in the case of the 
people of Los Angeles, were obliged to organize a vigilance 

i8s3l Lawyers and Courts 55 

committee. William T. Coleman, one of the foremost citizens 
of his city, led the Northern movement, and M, J. Newmark, 
then a resident of San Francisco, was among those who partici- 
pated, Howard, who succeeded William T., afterward General 
Sherman in leading the Law and Order contingent, opposed the 
idea of mob rule ; but the people of San Francisco, fully alive to 
the necessity of wiping out the vicious elements, and knowing 
how hard it was to get a speedy trial and an honest jury, had 
little sympathy with his views. He was accordingly ordered 
out of town, and made his way, first to Sacramento, then to the 
South. Here, with Kewen as their neighbor, Howard and his 
talented wife, a lady of decidedly blue-stocking tendencies, took 
up their residence near the San Gabriel Mission ; and he became 
one of the most reliable attorneys in Los Angeles, serving once 
or twice as County Judge and on the Supreme Court bench, as 
well as in the State Constitutional Convention of 1 878-1879. 

Speaking of the informality of courts in the earlier days, I 
should record that jurymen and others would come in coatless 
and, especially in warm weather, without vests and collars; and 
that it was the fashion for each juryman to provide himself 
with a jack-knife and a piece of wood, in order that he might 
whittle the time away. This was a recognized privilege, and 
I am not exaggerating when I say that if he forgot his piece of 
wood, it was considered his further prerogative to whittle the 
chair on which he sat! In other respects, also, court solemnity 
was lacking. Judge and attorneys would frequently lock horns ; 
and sometimes their disputes ended violently. On one occa- 
sion, for example, while I was in court, Columbus Sims, an 
attorney who came here in 1852, threw an inkstand at his oppo- 
nent, during an altercation; but this contempt of court did not 
call forth his disbarment, for he was later found acting as at- 
torney for Pancho Daniel, one of Sheriff Barton's murderers, 
until sickness compelled his retirement from the case. As to 
panel-service, I recollect that while serving as juror in those 
early days, we were once locked up for the night; and in order 
that time might not hang too heavily on our hands, we 
engaged in a sociable little game of poker. Sims is dead. 

56 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

More than inkstands were sometimes hurled in the early 
courts. On one occasion, for instance, after the angry dis- 
putants had arrived at a state of agitation which made the 
further use of canes, chairs, and similar objects tame and un- 
interesting, revolvers were drawn, notwithstanding the mar- 
shal's repeated attempts to restore order. Judge Dryden, in 
the midst of the melee, hid behind the platform upon which his 
Judgeship's bench rested; and being well out of the range of the 
threatening irons, yelled at the rioters: 

''Shoot away, damn you! and to hell with all of you!" 

After making due allowance for primitive conditions, it 
must be admitted that many and needless were the evils 
incidental to court administration. There was, for instance, 
the law's delay, which necessitated additional fees to witnesses 
and jurors and thus materially added to the expenses of the 
County. Juries were always a mixture of incoming pioneers and 
natives; the settlers understood very little Spanish, and the 
native Calif ornians knew still less English; while few or none 
of the attorneys could speak Spanish at all. In translating tes- 
timony, if the interpreter happened to be a friend of the 
criminal (which he generally was), he would present the evi- 
dence in a favorable light, and much time was wasted in sift- 
ing biased translations. Of course, there were interpreters who 
doubtless endeavored to perform their duties conscientiously. 
George Thompson Burrill, the first Sheriff, received fifty dollars 
a month as court interpreter, and Manuel Clemente Rojo 
translated testimony as well; officials I believe to have been 
honest and conscientious. 

While alluding to court interpreters and the general use 
of Spanish during at least the first decade after I came to 
California, I am reminded of the case of Joaquin Carrillo, who 
was elected District Judge, in the early fifties, to succeed 
Judge Henry A. Tefft of Santa Barbara, who had been drowned 
near San Luis Obispo while attempting to land from a steamer 
in order to hold court. During the fourteen years when Car- 
rillo held office, he was constantly handicapped by his little 
knowledge of the English language and the consequent neces- 

i853] Lawyers and Courts 57 

sity of carrying on all court proceedings in Spanish, to say 
nothing of the fact that he was really not a lawyer. Yet I 
am told that Carrillo possessed common sense to such a 
degree that his decisions were seldom set aside by the higher 

Sheriff Burrill had a brother, S. Thompson Burrill, who 
was a lawyer and a Justice of the Peace. He held court in the 
Padilla Building on Main Street, opposite the present site of 
the BuUard Block and adjoining my brother's store; and as 
a result of this proximity we became friendly. He was one 
of the best-dressed men in town, although, when I first met him, 
he could not have been less than sixty years of age. He pre- 
sented me with my first dog, which I lost on account of stray 
poison: evil-disposed or thoughtless persons, with no respect 
for the owner, whether a neighbor or not, and without the 
slightest consideration for pedigree, were in the habit of throw- 
ing poison on the streets to kill off canines, of which there was 
certainly a superabundance. 

Ygnacio Sepulveda, the jurist and a son of Jose Andres 
Sepulveda, was living here when I arrived, though but a boy. 
Born in Los Angeles in 1842, he was educated in the East 
and in 1863 admitted to the Bar; he served in the State Legis- 
lature of the following winter, was County Judge from 1870 to 
1873, and District Judge in 1874. Five years later he was 
elected Superior Judge, but resigned his position in 1884 to 
become Wells Fargo & Company's representative in the City 
of Mexico, at which capital for two years he was also American 
Charge cT Affaires. There to my great pleasure I met him, 
bearing his honors modestly, in January, 1885, during my tour 
of the southern republic. ' Sepulveda Avenue is named for the 

Horace Bell was a nephew of Captain Alexander Bell, of 
Bell's Row; and as an early comer to Los Angeles, he joined the 
volunteer mounted police. Although for years an attorney and 
journalist, in which capacity he edited the Porcupine, he is 

' After an absence of thirty years, Judge Sepulveda returned to Los Angeles, 
in 1914, and was heartily welcomed back by his many friends and admirers. 

58 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

best known for his Reminiscences of a Ranger, a volume writ- 
ten in rather a breezy and entertaining style, but certainly 
containing exaggerations. 

This reference to the Rangers reminds me that I was not 
long in Los Angeles when I heard of the adventures of Joaquin 
Murieta, who had been killed but a few months before I 
came. According to the stories current, Alurieta, a nephew of 
Jose Maria Valdez, was a decent-enough sort of fellow, who 
had been subjected to more or less injustice from certain 
American settlers, and who was finally bound to a tree and 
horsewhipped, after seeing his brother hung, on a trumped-up 
charge. In revenge, Alurieta had organized a company of 
bandits, and for two or three years had terrorized a good part 
of the entire State. Finally, in August, 1853, while the outlaw 
and several of his companions were off their guard near the 
Tejon Paso, they were encountered by Captain Harry Love 
and his volunteer mounted police organized to get him, 
"dead or alive;" the latter killed Alurieta and another des- 
perado known as Three-fingered Jack. Immediately the out- 
laws were despatched, their heads and the deformed hand of 
Three-fingered Jack were removed from the bodies and sent by 
John Sylvester and Harry Bloodsworth to Dr. William Francis 
Edgar, then a surgeon at Fort Miller; but a flood interfering, 
Sylvester swam the river with his barley sack and its grue- 
some contents. Edgar put the trophies into whiskey and ar- 
senic, when they were transmitted to the civil authorities, as 
vouchers for a reward. Bloodsworth died lately. 

Daredevils of a less malicious type were also resident 
among us. On the evening of December 31st, 1853, for example, 
I was in our store at eight o'clock when Felipe Rheim — often 
called Reihm and even Riehm — gloriously intoxicated and out 
for a good time, appeared on the scene, flourishing the ubiqui- 
tous weapon. His celebration of the New Year had apparently 
commenced, and he was already six sheets in the wind. Like 
many another man, Felipe, a very worthy German, was good- 
natured when sober, but a terror when drunk ; and as soon as he 
spied my solitary figure, he pointed his gun at me, saying, at the 

i8s3] Lawyers and Courts 59 

same time, in his vigorous native tongue, "Treat, or I shoot!'' 
I treated. After this pleasing transaction amid the smoky 
obscurity of Ramon Alexander's saloon, Felipe fired his gun 
into the air and disappeared. Startling as a demand like 
that might appear to-day, no thought of arrest then resulted 
from such an incident. 

The first New Year's Eve that I spent in Los Angeles was 
ushered in with the indiscriminate discharging of pistols and 
guns. This method of celebrating was, I may say, a novelty 
to me, and no less a surprise ; for of course I was unaware of the 
fact that, when the city was organized, three years before, a 
proposition to prohibit the carrying of firearms of any sort, or 
the shooting off of the same, except in defense of self, home 
or property, had been stricken from the first constitution by 
the committee on police, who reported that such an ordinance 
could not at that time be enforced. Promiscuous firing con- 
tinued for years to be indulged in by early Angelefios, though 
frequently condemned in the daily press, and such was its 
effect upon even me that I soon found myself peppering away 
at a convenient adobe wall on Commercial Street, seeking to 
perfect my aim! 



TRIVIAL events in a man's life sometimes become indelibly 
impressed on his memory ; and one such experience of my 
own is perhaps worth mentioning as another illustra- 
tion of the rough character of the times. One Sunday, a few 
days after my arrival, my brother called upon a tonsorial ce- 
lebrity, Peter Biggs, of whom I shall speak later, leaving me in 
charge of the store. There were two entrances, one on Main 
Street, the other on Requena. I was standing at the Main 
Street door, unconscious of impending excitement, when a 
stranger rode up on horseback and, without the least hesitation 
or warning, pointed a pistol at me. I was not sufficiently 
amused to delay my going, but promptly retreated to the other 
door where the practical joker, astride his horse, had easily 
anticipated my arrival and again greeted me with the muzzle 
of his weapon. These maneuvers were executed a number of 
times, and my ill-concealed trepidation only seemed to aug- 
ment the diversion of a rapidly-increasing audience. My 
brother returned in the midst of the fun and asked the jolly 
joker what in hell he meant by such behavior; to which he 
replied: "Oh, I just wanted to frighten the boy!" 

Soon after this incident, my brother left for San Francisco; 
and his partner, Jacob Rich, accompanied by his wife, came 
south and rented rooms in what was then known as Mellus's 
Row, an adobe building for the most part one-story, standing 


[1853] Merchants and Shops 61 

alone with a garden in the rear, and occupying about three 
hundred feet on the east side of Los Angeles Street, between 
Aliso and First, In this row, said by some to have been built 
by Barton & Nordholt, in 1850, for Captain Alexander Bell, 
a merchant here since 1842, after whom Bell Street is named, 
and by others claimed to have been the headquarters of Fre- 
mont, in 1846, there was a second-story at the corner of Aliso, 
provided with a large veranda; and there the Bell and Melius 
families lived. Francis Melius, who arrived in California in 
1839, had married the niece of Mrs. Bell, and Bell having 
sold the building to Melius, Bell's Row became known as 
Mellus's Row. Finally, Bell repurchased the property, retain- 
ing it during the remainder of his life ; and the name was again 
changed. This famous stretch of adobe, familiarly known as 
The Row, housed many early shopkeepers, such as Ferner & 
Kraushaar, general merchants, Kalisher & Wartenberg, and 
Bachman & Bauman. The coming to Los Angeles of Mr. 
and Mrs. Rich enabled me to abandon La Rue's restaurant, as 
I was permitted to board with them. None the less, I missed 
my brother very much. 

Everything at that time indicating that I was in for a com- 
mercial career, it was natural that I should become acquainted 
with the merchants then in Los Angeles. Some of the trades- 
men, I dare say, I have forgotten; but a more or less distinct 
recollection remains of many, and to a few of them I shall 

Temple Street had not then been opened by Beaudry and 
Potts, although there was a little cul-de-sac extending west from 
Spring Street; and at the junction of what is now Spring and 
Temple streets, there was a two-story adobe building in which 
D. W. Alexander and Francis Melius conducted a general 
merchandise business, and at one time acted as agents for 
Melius & Howard of San Francisco. Melius, who was born in 
Salem, Massachusetts, February 3d, 1824, came to the Coast in 
1839, first landing at Santa Barbara; and when I first met him 
he had married Adelaida, daughter of Don Santiago Johnson, 
and our fellow- townsman, James J. Melius — familiarly known 

62 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

as plain Jim — was a baby. Alexander & Melius had rather 
an extensive business in the early days, bringing goods by sailing 
vessel around Cape Horn, and exchanging them for hides and 
tallow which were carried back East by the returning merchant- 
men. They had operated more or less extensively even some 
years before California was ceded to the United States; but 
competition from a new source forced these well-established 
merchants to retire. With the advent of more frequent, 
although still irregular service between San Francisco and the 
South, and the influx of more white people, a number of new 
stores started here bringing merchandise from the Northern 
market, while San Francisco buyers began to outbid Alexan- 
der & Melius for the local supply of hides and tallow. This 
so revolutionized the methods under which this tradition-bound 
old concern operated that, by 1858, it had succumbed to the 
inevitable, and the business passed into the hands of Johnson 
& AUanson, a firm made up of Charles R. Johnson, soon to be 
elected County Clerk, and Horace S. Allanson. 

Most of the commercial activity in this period was carried 
on north of First Street. The native population inhabited 
Sonora Town, for the most part a collection of adobes, named 
after the Mexican state whence came many of our people; 
there was a contingent from other parts of Mexico; and a small 
sprinkling of South Americans from Chile and Peru. Among 
this Spanish-speaking people quite a business was done by 
Latin-American storekeepers. It followed, naturally enough, 
that they dealt in all kinds of Mexican goods. 

One of the very few white men in this district was Jose 
Mascarel (a powerfully-built French sea-captain and master 
of the ship that brought Don Luis Vignes to the Southland) , 
who settled in Los Angeles in 1844, marrying an Indian woman. 
He had come with Prudhomme and others ; and under Captain 
Henseley had taken part in the military events at San Bartolo 
and the Mesa. By 1865, when he was Mayor of the city, he had 
already accumulated a number of important real estate holdings 
and owned, with another Frenchman, Juan Barri, a baker, the 
block extending east on the south side of Commercial Street, 

i8s3l Merchants and Shops 63 

from Main to Los Angeles, which had been built in 1861 to take 
the place of several old adobes. This the owners later di- 
vided, Mascarel taking the southeast corner of Commercial 
and Main streets, and Barri the southwest corner of Commer- 
cial and Los Angeles streets. In the seventies, L W. Hellman 
bought the Mascarel corner, and in 1883, the Farmers & 
Merchants Bank moved to that location, where it remained 
until the institution purchased the southwest corner of Fourth 
and Main streets, for the erection of its own building. 

Andres Ramirez was another Sonora Town merchant. 
He had come from Mexico in 1844, and sold general merchan- 
dise in what, for a while, was dubbed the Street of the Maids. 
Later, this was better known as Upper Main Street; and still 
later it was called San Fernando Street. 

Louis Abarca was a tradesman and a neighbor of Ramirez. 
Prosperous until the advent of the pioneer, he little by little 
became poorer, and finally withdrew from business. 

Juan Bernard, a native of French Switzerland, whose daugh- 
ter married D. Botiller, now an important landowner, came to 
California by way of the Horn, in search of the precious metal, 
preceding me to this land of sunshine. For awhile, he had a 
brickyard on Buena Vista Street ; but in the late seventies, soon 
after marrying Senorita Susana Machado, daughter of Don 
Agustin Machado, he bought a vineyard on Alameda Street, 
picturesquely enclosed by a high adobe or brick wall much 
after the fashion of a European chdteau. He also came to own 
the site of the Natick House. A clever linguist and a man 
of attractive personality, he passed away in 1889. 

An American by the name of George Walters lived on 
Upper Main Street, among the denizens of which locality he 
was an influential person. Born at New Orleans as early as 
1809, Walters had trapped and traded in the Rocky Mountains, 
then teamed for awhile between Santa Fe and neighboring 
points. Near the end of 1844, he left New Mexico in com- 
pany with James Waters, Jim Beckwith and other travelers, 
finally reaching Los Angeles. Walters, who settled in San 
Bernardino, was at the Chino Ranch, with B. D. Wilson 

64 Sixty Years in Southern California dSss 

and Louis Robidoux, when so many Americans were made 

Julian Chavez, after whom Chavez Street is named, was here 
in 1853. If he was not native-born, he came here at a very 
early day. He owned a stretch of many acres, about a mile 
northeast of Los Angeles. He was a good, honest citizen, and 
is worthy of recollection. 

Ramon Alexander, a Frenchman often confused with David 
Alexander, came to Los Angeles before 1850, while it was still a 
mere Mexican village. Pioneers remember him especially as 
the builder of the long-famous Round House, on Main Street, 
and as one who also for some time kept a saloon near Requena 
Street. Alexander's wife was a Senorita Valdez. He died 
in 1870. 

Antome Laborie was another Frenchman here before the 
beginning of the fifties. He continued to live in Los Angeles till 
at least the late seventies. A fellow-countryman, B. Dubordieu, 
had a bakery in Sonora Town. 

Philip Rheim, the good-natured German to whom I have 
referred, had a little store and saloon, before I came, called 
Los dos Aniigos, as the proprietor of which he was known as 
Don Felipe. Nor was this title amiss; for Felipe married a 
native woman and, German though he had been, he gradually 
became, like so many others who had mated in the sam.e way, 
more and more Calif omian in manners and customs. 

A month after I arrived here, John Behn, who had a grocery 
business at the northeast comer of First and Los Angeles 
streets, retired. He had come to Los Angeles from Baden in 

1848, and, after forming one or two partnerships, had sold out to 
Lorenzo Leek, a German Dane, who reached here in November, 

1849, and whose son, Henry von der Leek, married a daughter 
of Tom Mott and is living at San Juan Capistrano. Leek 
opened his own store in 1854, ^^^ despite the trials to which 
he was to be subjected, he was able, in 1868, to pay John 
Schumacher three thousand dollars for a lot on ISL-iin Street. 
Leek had a liking for the spectacular; and in the November 
previous to my arrival was active, as I have been told, with 

1853] Merchants and Shops 65 

Goller and Nordholt, in organizing the first political procession 
seen in Los Angeles. The election of Pierce was the incentive, 
and there were gorgeous transparencies provided for the event. 
It was on this occasion that a popular local character, George 
the Baker, burned himself badly while trying to fire off the 
diminutive cannon borrowed from the Spanish padre for the 

In the one-story adobe of Mascarel and Barri, on the corner 
of Commercial and Main streets, now the site of the United 
States National Bank, an Irishman named Samuel G. Arbuckle, 
who had come here in 1 850 and was associated for a short time 
with S. Lazard, conducted a dry goods store. From 1852 to 
1856, Arbuckle was City Treasurer. 

In the same building, and adjoining Arbuckle's, John 
Jones, father of Mrs. J. B. Lankershim and M. G. Jones, 
carried on a wholesale grocery business. Jones had left England 
for Australia, when forty-seven years old, and a year later 
touched the coast of California at Monterey and came to Los 
Angeles. Twice a year, Jones went north in a schooner, for 
the purpose of replenishing his stock; and after making his 
purchases and having the boat loaded, he would return to Los 
Angeles. Sometimes he traveled with the round-bellied, short 
and jolly Captain Morton who recalled his illustrious prototype, 
Wouter van Twiller, so humorously described by Washington 
Irving as "exactly five feet six inches in height, and six feet 
five inches in circumference;" sometimes he sailed with Captain 
J. S. Garcia, a good-natured seaman. During his absence, the 
store remained closed ; and as this trip always required at least 
six weeks, some idea may be obtained of the Sleepy Hollow 
methods then prevailing in this part of the West. In 1854 
or 1855, Jones, who was reputed to be worth some fifty 
thousand dollars, went to San Francisco and married Miss 
Doria Deighton, and it was generally understood that he 
expected to settle there; but having been away for a couple of 
years, he returned to the City of the Angels, this being one of 
the first instances within my observation of the irresistible 
attraction of Los Angeles for those who have once lived here. 

66 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

It is my recollection that Jones bought from John G. Do\NTiey 
the Cristobal Aguilar home then occupied by W. H. and IMrs. 
Perry; a building the more interesting since it was imderstood 
to have served, long in the past and before the American 
occupation, as a calabozo or jail, and to have had a whipping- 
post supposed to have done much ser\4ce in keeping the 
turbulently-inclined natives quiet. How many of the old 
adobes may at times have been used as jails, I am unable to 
say, but it is also related that there stood on the hill west of 
the Plaza another cuartel, afterward the home of B. S. Eaton, 
where Fred, later ^layor of Los Angeles, was bom. Like 
Felix Bachman and others, Jones entered actively into trade 
with Salt Lake City ; and although he met w4th many reverses 
— notably in the loss of Captain Morton's Laura Bd'afi, which 
sank, carrying dovm a shipload of uninsured goods — he retired 

John, sometimes called Juan Temple — or Jonathan, as he 
used to sign himself in earlier years — who paid the debt of 
Nature in 1866, and after whom Temple Street is named, was 
another merchant, having a store upon the piece of land (later 
the site of the Do\^^ley Block, and now occupied by the Post 
Office) which, from 1S49 to 1S66, was in charge of my friend, 
Don Ygnacio Garcia, his confidential business agent. Garcia 
imported from Mexico both scrapes and rebozos; and as every 
Tvlexican man and woman required one of these garments, 
Temple had a large and very lucrative trade in them alone. 
Following the death of Temple, Garcia continued under 
Hinchman, the executor of the estate, until everytliing had been 

It was really far back in 1827 when Temple came to Los 
Angeles, started the first general merchandise store in town, 
and soon took such a lead in local affairs that the first Vigi- 
lance Committee in the city was organized in his store, in 1836. 
Toward the fifties, he drifted south to jMexico and there 
acquired a vast stretch of land on the coast ; but he returned 
here, and was soon knowTi as one of the wealthiest, 3'et one of 
the stingiest men in all California. His real estate holdings 


i853l Merchants and Shops 67 

in or near Los Angeles were enormous ; but the bad judgment 
of his executor cost him dear, and valuable properties were 
sacrificed. After his death, Temple's wife — who once ac- 
companied her husband to Paris, and had thus formed a 
liking for the livelier French capital — returned to France with 
her daughter, later Dona Ajuria, to live; and A. F. Hinch- 
man. Temple's brother-in-law, who had been Superintendent of 
Santa Barbara County Schools, was appointed administrator. 
Hinchman then resided in San Diego, and was intensely partial 
to that place. This may have prejudiced him against Los 
Angeles; but whatever the cause, he offered Temple's properties 
at ridiculous prices, and some of the items of sale may now be 

The present site of the Government Building, embracing 
as it then did the forty-foot street north of it, was at that time 
improved with an adobe building covering the entire front and 
running back to New High Street ; and this adobe, known after 
Temple's death as the Old Temple Block, Hinchman sold for 
fifteen thousand dollars. He also disposed of the new Temple 
Block, including the improvement at the south end which I 
shall describe, for but sixteen thousand dollars. I remember 
quite well that Ygnacio Garcia was the purchaser, and that, 
tiring of his bargain in a couple of weeks, he resold the prop- 
erty to John Temple's brother, Francisco, at cost. 

Hinchman, for fourteen thousand dollars, also disposed of 
the site of the present Bullard Block, whereon Temple had 
erected a large brick building, the lower part of which was 
used as a market while the upper part was a theater. The 
terms in each of these three transactions were a thousand 
dollars per annum, with interest at ten per cent. He sold 
to the Bixbys the Cerritos rancho, containing twenty-six 
thousand acres, for twenty thousand dollars. Besides these, 
there were eighteen lots, each one hundred and twenty by three 
hundred and thirty feet, located on Fort Street (now Broad- 
way), some of which ran through to Spring and others to Hill, 
which were bought by J. F. Burns and William Buflum for 
one thousand and fifty dollars, or fifty dollars each for the 

68 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

twelve inside and seventy-five dollars each for the six corner 

Returning to the Fort Street lots, it may be interesting to 
know that the property would be worth to-day — at an average 
price of foiu- thousand dollars per foot — about nine million 
dollars. Eugene Meyer purchased one of the lots (on the 
west side of Fort Street, running through to Hill, one hundred 
and twenty by three hundred and thirty feet in size), for the 
sum of one thousand dollars ; and I paid him a thousand dollars 
for sixty feet and the same depth. In 1874 I built on this site 
the home occupied by me for about twelve years, after which I 
improved both fronts for F. L. Blanchard. These two blocks 
are still in my possession; the Broadway building is known as 
Blanchard Hall. Blanchard, by the way, a comer of 1886, 
started his Los Angeles career in A. G. Bartlett's music store, 
and has since always been closely identified with art move- 
ments. He organized the system of cluster street -lights in 
use here and was an early promoter of good roads. 

Charles L. Ducommun was here in business in 1853, he and 
John G. Downey having arrived together, three years before. 
According to the story still current, Ducommun, with his 
kit and stock as a watchmaker, and Downey, with his outfit 
as a druggist, hired a carreta together, to transport their belong- 
ings from San Pedro to Los Angeles ; but the carreta broke down, 
and the two pilgrims to the City of the Angels had to finish 
their journey afoot. Ducommun's first store, located on 
Commercial Street between Main and Los Angeles, was about 
sixteen by thirty feet in size, but it contained an astonishing 
assortment of merchandise, such as hardware, stationery and 
jewelry. Perhaps the fact that Ducommun came from Switzer- 
land, then even more than now the chief home of watchmaking, 
explains his early venture in the making and selling of watches ; 
however that may be, it was to Charlie Ducommun's that the 
bankrupt merchant Moreno — later sentenced to fourteen 
or fifteen years in the penitentiary for robbing a French- 
man — came to sell the Frenchman's gold watch. Moreno 
confessed that he had organized a gang of robbers, after his 

Pio Pico 

From an oil portrait 

Juan Bandini 

Abel Stearns 

Isaac Williams 

Store of Felipe Rheim 

1853] Merchants and Shops 69 

failure in business, and had murdered even his own lieuten- 
ants. Ducommun, pretending to go into a rear room for the 
money, slipped out of the back door and gave the alarm. Du- 
commun's store was a sort of curiosity-shop containing many 
articles not obtainable elsewhere; and he was clever enough, 
when asked for any rarity, to charge all that the traffic would 
bear. I wonder what Charlie Ducommun would say if he could 
return to life and see his sons conducting a large, modern whole- 
sale hardware establishment on an avenue never thought of in 
his day and where once stretched acres of fruit and vine lands ! 
Ducommun Street commemorates this pioneer. 

Ozro W. Childs, who came to Los Angeles in November, 
1850, was for awhile in partnership with J. D. Hicks, the firm 
being known as Childs & Hicks. They conducted a tin-shop on 
Commercial Street, in a building about twenty by forty feet. 
In 1861, H. D. Barrows joined them, and hardware was added 
to the business. Somewhat later the firm was known as J. D. 
Hicks & Company. In 1 87 1 , Barrows bought out the Childs and 
Hicks interests, and soon formed a partnership with W. C. 
Furrey, although the latter arrived in Los Angeles only in 1872. 
When Barrows retired, Furrey continued alone for several years. 
The W. C. Furrey Company was next organized, with James W. 
Hellman as the active partner of Furrey, and with Simon Maier, 
the meat-packer and brother of the brewer, and J. A. Graves 
as stockholders. Hellman, in time, succeeded this company 
and continued for himself. When Childs withdrew, he went in 
for importing and selling exotic trees and plants, and made his 
home place, in more modern days known as the Huntington 
Purchase and running from Main to Hill and Eleventh to 
Twelfth streets, wonderfully attractive to such tourists as then 
chanced this way; he also claimed to be the pioneer floricul- 
turist of Los Angeles County. Toward the end of his life, 
Childs erected on Main Street, south of First, a theater styled 
an opera house and later known as the Grand, which was 
popular in its time. Childs Avenue bears the family name. 

Labatt Brothers had one of the leading dry goods houses, 
which, strange as it may seem, they conducted in a part of the 

70 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

Abel Stearns home, corner of Main and Arcadia streets, now 
occupied by the Baker Block. Their establishment, while the 
most pretentious and certainly the most specialized of its day 
in town, and therefore patronized by our well-to-do people, 
would nevertheless make but a sorry appearance in comparison 
with even a single department in any of the mammoth stores of 

Jacob Elias was not only here in 1853, in partnership with his 
brother under the firm name of Elias Brothers, but he also 
induced some of his friends in Augusta, Georgia, to migrate to 
California. Among those who came in 1854 were Pollock, 
whose given name I forget, and L. C, better known as Clem 
Goodwin. The latter clerked for awhile for Elias Brothers, after 
which he associated himself with Pollock under the title of 
Pollock & Goodwin. They occupied premises at what was then 
the corner of Aliso Street and Nigger Alley, and the site, some 
years later, of P. Beaudry's business when we had our interest- 
ing contest, the story of which I shall relate in due time. Pol- 
lock & Goodwin continued in the general merchandise business 
for a few years, after which they returned to Augusta. 
Goodwin, however, came back to California in 1864 a Bene- 
dick, and while in San Francisco accidentally met Louis Po- 
laski who was then looking for an opening. Goodwin induced 
Polaski to enter into partnership with him, and the well-known 
early clothing house of Polaski & Goodwin was thus estab- 
lished in the Downey Block. In 1867, they bought out I, W. 
Hellman and moved over to the southeast corner of Commercial 
and Main streets. Goodwin sold out to Polaski in 1881, when 
the firm became Polaski & Sons; in 1883 Sam, Isidor and 
Myer L. Polaski bought out their father, and in time Polaski 
Brothers also withdrew. Goodwin became Vice-president of the 
Farmers & Merchants Bank. Polaski died in 1900, Goodwin 
having preceded him a short time before. Goodwin left his wife 
some valuable property, and as they were without issue, she so 
richly endowed the Children's Hospital, at her death, that the 
present building was made possible. 

The Lanfranco brothers — Juan T. and Mateo — came from 

1853] Merchants and Shops 71 

Genoa, Italy, by way of Lima, Peru and New York, whence 
they crossed the Plains with James Lick the carpenter later so 
celebrated, and they were both here in business in 1853; Juan, 
a small capitalist or petil rentier, living where the Lanfranco 
Building now stands, opposite the Federal Building, while 
Mateo kept a grocery store on Main Street, not far from Com- 
mercial. In 1854, Juan added to his independence by marrying 
Senorita Petra Pilar, one of fourteen children of Don Jose 
Loreto Sepiilveda, owner of the Palos Verdes rancho; the celebra- 
tion of the nuptials, in dancing and feasting, lasting five days. 
It was at that ranch that a great stampede of cattle occurred, 
due to fright when the pioneer sulky, imported by Juan Lan- 
franco from San Francisco, and then a strange object, was 
driven into their midst. About 1861, the first Lanfranco Build- 
ing was erected. Mateo died on October 4th, 1873, while 
Juan passed away on May 20th, 1875. His wife died in 1877. A 
daughter married Walter Maxwell; a second daughter became 
the wife of Walter S. Moore, for years Chief of the Fire Depart- 
ment; and still another daughter married Arthur Brentano, 
one of the well-known Paris and New York booksellers, 

Solomon Lazard and Maurice Kremer, cousins of about the 
same age, and natives of Lorraine, were associated in 1853 
under the title of Lazard & Kremer, being located in a 
storeroom in Mellus's Row, and I may add that since nearly 
all of the country development had taken place in districts 
adjacent to San Gabriel, El Monte and San Bernardino, 
travel through Aliso Street was important enough to make 
their situation one of the best in town. Lazard had arrived in 
San Francisco in 1851, and having remained there about a year, 
departed for San Diego, where it was his intention to engage in 
the dry goods business. Finding that there were not enough 
people there to maintain such an establishment of even moder- 
ate proportions, Lazard decided upon the advice of a seafaring 
man whom he met to remove his stock, which he had brought 
from the Northern town, to Los Angeles. He told me that he 
paid fifty-six dollars' steamer fare from San Francisco to San 
Diego, and that the freight on his merchandise cost him twenty 

^2 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

dollars a ton. Among his native friends, Lazard was always 
known as Don Solomon, and being popular, he frequently- 
acted as floor-manager at balls and fandangos. Lazard is still 
living at the good old age of eighty-seven years. Kremer also 
reached here in 1852. In time, Timoteo Wolf skill, a son of 
William Wolf skill, bought Kremer's interest, and the firm 
name became Lazard & Wolfskill. Each of these worthy 
pioneers in his day rendered signal service to the community 
— Lazard serving as Councilman in 1862; and I shall have 
occasion, therefore, to refer to them again. Abe Lazard, a 
brother of Solomon, who had spent some years in South 
America, came in the late fifties. Dr. E. M. Lazard is a 
son of S. Lazard. 

While speaking of San Diego, I may remark that it was 
quite fifteen years before the interesting old Spanish settlement 
to the South, with which I had no business relations, attracted 
me; and as I was no exception, the reader ma}^ see how seldom 
the early settlers were inclined to roam about merely for sight- 

In 1853, ]\I. Norton and E. Greenbaum sold merchandise at 
the southwest comer of Los Angeles and Commercial streets 
(when Jacob, J. L., an early Supervisor and City Treasurer, 
1863-64 and Moritz ]M orris. Councilman in 1869-70, were 
competitors). In time, Jacob returned to Germany, where he 
died. Herman Morris, a brother, was a local newspaper re- 
porter. Jacob Letter was another rival, who removed to 
Oakland. Still another dealer in general merchandise was M. 
Michaels, almost a dwarf in size, who emigrated to South 
America. Casper Behrendt — father-in-law of John Kahn, a 
man prominent in many movements — who arrived in 1851, 
was another Commercial Street merchant. Still other early 
merchants whom I somewhat distinctly recall were Israel 
Fleishman and Julius Sichel, who had a glassware, crockery 
and hardware business; and L. Lasky, on Commercial Street. 

Thomas D. Mott, father of John Mott, the attorney, who 
was lured to California by the gold-fever of 1849, and to Los 
Angeles, three years later, by the climate, I met on the day of 

i853] • Merchants and Shops 73 

my arrival. His room adjoined my brother's store, so that we 
soon formed an acquaintanceship which ripened, in the course 
of time, into a friendship that endured until the day of his 
death. In the early sixties, he was the proprietor of a livery 
stable on Main Street, opposite the Stearns home. He was 
very fond of hunting, being an expert at dropping a bird on the 
wing; and frequently went dove-shooting with his friends. 

All of which, insignificant as it may at first appear, I men- 
tion for the purpose of indicating the neighborhood of these 
operations. The hunting-ground covered none other than that 
now lying between Main and Olive streets from about Sixth 
Street to Pico, and teeming to-day, as the reader knows, with 
activity and life. There sportsmen hunted, while more matter- 
of-fact burghers frequently went with scythes to cut grass for 
their horses. 

Prudent Beaudry, a native of Quebec destined to make and 
lose several fortunes, was here when I came, having previously 
been a merchant in San Francisco when staple articles — 
such as common tacks, selling at sixteen dollars a package! — 
commanded enormous prices. Two or three times, however, 
fire obliterated all his savings,- and when he reached Los 
Angeles, Beaudry had only about a thousand dollars' worth of 
goods and two or three hundred dollars in cash. With these as- 
sets he opened a small store on Main Street, opposite the Abel 
Stearns home ; and again favored by the economic conditions of 
the times, he added to his capital very rapidly. From Main 
Street Beaudry moved to Commercial, forming partnerships 
successively with a man named Brown and with one Le Maitre. 
As early as 1854, Beaudry had purchased the property at the 
northeast corner of Aliso Street and Nigger A.lley for eleven 
thousand dollars, and this he so improved with the additional 
investment of twenty-five thousand dollars that he made his 
now elongated adobe bring him in an income of a thousand a 
month. As stated elsewhere, Beaudry went to Europe in 1855, 
returning later to Montreal; and it was not until 1861 or later 
that he came back to Los Angeles and reengaged in business, 
this time in his own building where until 1865 he thrived, 

74 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

withdrawing, as I shall soon show, in the beginning of 1866. 
Beaudry Avenue recalls this early and important man of affairs. 

David W. Alexander, Phineas Banning's enterprising 
partner in estabhshing wagon-trains, was here when I came and 
was rather an influential person. An Irishman by birth, he had 
come to California from Mexico by way of Salt Lake, in the 
early forties, and lived for awhile in the San Bernardino coun- 
tr3\ From 1844 to 1849, John Temple and he had a store at San 
Pedro, and still later he was associated in business with Banning, 
selling out his interest in 1855. In 1850, Alexander was Presi- 
dent of the first Common Council of Los Angeles, being one of 
the two members who completed their term; in 1852, he visited 
Europe; and in September, 1855, he was elected Sheriff of the 
County, bringing to his aid the practical experience of a Ranger. 
Before keeping store, Alexander had farmed for awhile on the 
Rincon rancho; he continued to hold a large extent of acreage 
and in 1872 was granted a patent to over four thousand acres 
in the Providencia, and in 1874 to nearly seventeen thou- 
sand acres in the Tejunga rancho. George C. Alexander, David's 
brother, was Postmaster at San Pedro in 1857. 

The Hazards arrived in 1853 with a large family of children, 
Captain A. M. Hazard having made his way with ox-teams from 
the East, via Salt Lake, on a journey which consumed nearly 
two years. At first they took up a claim about ionr miles from 
Los Angeles, which was later declared Government land. The 
eldest son, Daniel, was employed by Banning as a teamster, 
traveling between Los Angeles and Yuma; but later he set up 
in the teaming business for himself. George W. Hazard became 
a dealer in saddlery in Requena Street; and taking an active 
interest in the early history of Los Angeles, he collected, at 
personal sacrifice, souvenirs of the past, and this collection has 
become one of the few original sources available for research.'' 
In 1889, Henry T. Hazard, after having served the City as its 
Attorney, was elected Mayor, his administration being marked 
by no little progress in the town's growth and expansion. 
Henry, who married a daughter of Dr. William Geller, and 

'George Hazard died on February 8th, 1914. 

i853] Merchants and Shops 75 

after whom Hazard Street is named, is the only one of the 
brothers who siirvives. 

Sam Meyer, who met me, as related, when I alighted from 
the stage, was another resident of Los Angeles prior to my com- 
ing. He had journeyed from Germany to America in 1849, had 
spent four years in New Orleans, Macon, and other Southern 
cities, and early in 1853 had come to California. On Main 
Street, south of Requena, I found him, with Hilliard Loewen- 
stein, in the dry goods business, an undertaking they contin- 
ued until 1856, when Loewenstein returned to Germany, 
to marry a sister of Meyer. Emanuel Loewenstein, one of the 
issue of this marriage, and a jolly, charitable fellow, is well 
known about town. On December 15th, 1 861, Meyer married 
Miss Johanna,' daughter of S. C. and Rosalia Davis, and 
the same year formed a partnership with Davis in the crockery 
business. After two and a half years of residence in Ger- 
many, Loewenstein returned to Los Angeles. Meyer, so long 
identified with local freemasonry, died in 1903. A daughter 
married Max Loewenthal, the attorney. 

Baruch Marks, one of the very few people yet living 
who were here when I arrived, is now about ninety-one years 
of age, and still ^ a resident of Los Angeles. He was with Louis 
Schlesinger (who lost his life when the Ada Hancock was de- 
stroyed) and Hyman Tischler in the general merchandise 
business in 1853 at Mellus's Row, the firm being known as B. 
Marks & Company; and having prospered, he went to Berlin. 
There, after the Franco-Prussian War, when much disaster befell 
speculators, he lost most of his means; and greatly reduced in 
resources, he returned to Los Angeles. Since then, however, 
he has never been able to retrieve his fortune. Luckily he 
enjoys good health, even being able at his advanced age, as 
he told me recently, to shave himself. 

In 1 85 1, Herman Schlesinger reached Los Angeles and 
engaged in the dry goods business with Tobias Sherwinsky. 
In 1855, Moritz Schlesinger, Herman's brother, came here and 

'Mrs. Meyer died on September 4th, 1914. 
* Marks died on July 9th, 1914. 

76 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

clerked for the firm. In 1857, Schlesinger & Sherwinsky, 
having made, approximately, foiirteen thousand dollars, which 
they divided, sold out to Aloritz Schlesinger and returned to 
Germany. A few years later Sherwinsky lost his money and, 
coming back to California, located in San Diego where he 
died. Schlesinger remained in Germany and died there, about 

Collins Wadhams had a general store on the northeast 
corner of Main and Commercial streets — a piece of property 
afterward bought by Charlie Ducommun. At another time, 
Wadhams & Foster were general merchants who, succeeding to 
the business of Foster & McDougal, were soon followed by 
Douglass, Foster & Wadhams. Clerking for this firm when 
I came was William W. Jenkins, who left for Arizona, years 
afterward, where he led an adventurous life. 

Henry G. Yarrow, often called Cuatro Ojos or four eyes, 
from the fact that he wore a pair of big spectacles on a large 
hooked nose, was an eccentric character of the fifties and later. 
He once conducted a store at the southwest corner of Los Ange- 
les and Requena streets, and was the Jevne of his day in so 
far as he dealt in superior and exceptional commodities gener- 
ally not found in any other store. In other respects, however, 
the comparison fails ; for he kept the untidiest place in town, and 
his stock was fearfully jumbled together, necessitating an in- 
definite search for every article demanded. The store was a 
little low room in an adobe building about twenty feet long and 
ten feet wide, with another room in the rear where Yarrow 
cooked and slept. He was also a mysterious person, and nobody 
ever saw the inside of this room. His clothes were of the 
commonest material; he was polite and apparently well-bred; 
yet he never went anywhere for social intercourse, nor did he 
wish anyone to call upon him except for trade. Aside from the 
barest necessities, he was never known to spend any money, 
and so he came to be regarded as a miser. One morning he was 
found dead in his store, and for some time thereafter people 
dug in his baclcyard searching for the earnings believed to have 
been secreted there; but not a cent of his horde was ever 

1853] Merchants and Shops 77 

found. There were all kinds of rumors, however, respecting 
Yarrow. One was to the effect that he was the scion of a noted 
English family, and that disappointment in love had soured 
and driven him from the world ; while another report was that 
his past had been somewhat shady. Nobody, apparently, 
knew the truth; but I personally believe that Yarrow was 
honest, and know that when at one time, despite his efforts, he 
failed in business, he endeavored to settle his debts upon the 
most honorable basis. 

Charles Hale, later associated with M. W. Childs, had a 
tin-shop just where Stearns's Arcadia Block now stands. This 
shop stood on elevated ground, making his place of business 
rather difficult of access ; from which the reader will gain some 
idea of the irregular appearance of the landscape in early days. 
Hale in time went to Mexico, where he was reported to have 
made a fortune. 

August Ulyard arrived with his wife on the last day of 
December, 1852, and rented a house near the Plaza. In com- 
petition with Joseph Lelong, who had established his Jenny 
Lind bakery a couple of years previous, Ulyard opened a bake- 
shop, making his first bread from yeast which Mrs. Ulyard had 
brought with her across the Plains. There had been nothing 
but French bread in Los Angeles up to that time, but Ulyard 
began to introduce both German and American bread and cake, 
which soon found favor with many; later he added freshly- 
baked crackers. After a while, he moved to the site of the 
Natick House, at the southwest corner of Main and First 
streets ; and once he owned the southwest corner of Fifth and 
Spring streets, on which the Alexandria Hotel now stands. 
Having no children of their own, Ulyard and his wife adopted 
first one and then another, until eventually they had a family 
of seven! 

Picturing these unpretentious stores, I recall a custom 
long prevalent here among the native population. Just as in 
Mexico a little lump of sugar called a pilon, or something 
equally insignificant, was given with even the smallest pur- 
chase, so here some trifle, called a pilon, was thrown in to 

78 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

please the buyer. And if a merchant neglected to offer such 
a gratuity, the customer was almost certain to ask for it. 

Among the meat-handlers, there were several Sentous broth- 
ers, but those with whom I was more intimately acquainted 
were Jean and Louis, father of Louis Sentous the present 
French Consul, both of whom, if I mistake not, came about the 
middle of the fifties. They engaged in the sheep business ; and 
later Louis had a packing-house of considerable importance 
located between Los Angeles and Santa Monica, where he also 
owned over a thousand acres of valuable land which he sold 
some time before his death. They were very successful; and 
Sentous Street bears their name. Jean died in 1903, and Louis 
a few years later. 

Refugio Botello was another wholesale cattle- and meat- 

Arthur McKenzie Dodson, who came here in 1850 and 
later married Miss Reyes, daughter of Nasario Dominguez, con- 
ducted a butcher shop and one of the first grocery stores. He 
was also the first to make soap here. For a while Dodson was 
in partnership with John Benner who, during a quarter of a 
century when in business for himself, in the old Temple adobe 
on Main Street, built up an important trade in the handling of 
meat. James H. Dodson is Arthur's son. 

Santiago Bollo also kept a small grocery. 
' " Hog " Bennett was here in the middle fifties. He raised 
and killed hogs, and cured the ham and bacon which he sold 
to neighboring dealers. 

Possessed as he was of an unusual sense of rectitude, I 
esteemed Francisco Solano, father of Alfredo Solano, for his 
many good qualities. He was in the butcher business in 
Sonora Town, and was prosperous in the early fifties. 

An odd little store was that of IVIadame Salandie, who came 
to California in 1849, on the same vessel that brought Lorenzo 
Leek. She had a butcher shop; but, rather curiously, she was 
also a money-lender. 

I believe that Jack Yates was here in 1853. He owned the 
first general laundry, located on Los Angeles Street between 

1853] Merchants and Shops 79 

First and Requena, and conducted it with success and profit 
for many years, until he succumbed to the competition of the 
Chinese. Yates's daughter, Miss Mary D., married H. J. 
Woollacott, at one time a prominent financier. 

More than once, in recording these fragmentary recollec- 
tions, I have had occasion to refer to persons who, at one 
time or another, were employed in a very different manner 
than in a later period of their lives. The truth is that 
in the early days one's occupation did not weigh much in the 
balance, provided only that he was honorable and a good 
citizen; and pursuits lowly to-day were then engaged in by 
excellent men. Many of the vocations of standing were un- 
known, in fact, fifty or sixty years ago ; and refined and educated 
gentlemen often turned their attention to what are now con- 
sidered humble occupations. 




ABOUT the time when I arrived, Assessor Antonio F. 
Coronel reported an increase in the City and County 
assessment of over eight hundred and five thousand 
dollars, but the number of stores was really limited, and the 
amount of business involved was in proportion. The commun- 
ity was like a village ; and such was the provincial character of 
the town that, instead of indicating the location of a store or 
office by a number, the advertiser more frequently used such 
a phrase as "opposite the Bella Union," "near the Express 
Office," or "vis-d-vis to Mr. Temple's." Nor was this of great 
importance: change of names and addresses were frequent in 
business establishments in those days — an indication, perhaps, 
of the restless spirit of the times. 

Possibly because of this uncertainty as to headquarters, 
merchants were indifferent toward many advertising aids con- 
sidered to-day rather essential. When I began business in Los 
Angeles, most of the storekeepers contented themselves with 
signs rudely lettered or painted on unbleached cloth, and nailed 
on the outside of the adobe walls of their shops. Later, their 
signs were on bleached cloth and secured in frames without 
glass. In 1865, we had a painted wooden sign; and still later, 
many establishments boasted of letters in gold on the glass 
doors and windows. So too, when I first came here, merchants 
wrote their own billheads and often did not take the trouble to 


[i8s3] In and Near the Old Pueblo 8i 

do that; but within two or three years afterward, they began 
to have them printed. 

People were also not as particular about keeping their 
places of business open all day. Proprietors would sometimes 
close their stores and go out for an hour or two for their meals, 
or to meet in a friendly game of billiards. During the monot- 
onous days when but little business was being transacted, it 
was not uncommon for merchants to visit back and forth and to 
spend hours at a time in playing cards. To provide a substitute 
for a table, the window sill of the thick adobe was used, the 
visitor seating himself on a box or barrel on the outside, while 
the host within at the window would make himself equally 
comfortable. Without particularizing, it is safe to state that 
the majority of early traders indulged in such methods of killing 
time. During this period of miserably lighted thorough- 
fares, and before the arrival of many American families, those 
who did not play cards and billiards in the saloons met at night 
at each other's stores where, on an improvised table, they in- 
dulged in a little game of draw. 

Artisans, too, were among the pioneers. William H. Perry, 
a carpenter by trade, came to Los Angeles on February ist, 1853, 
bringing with him, and setting up here, the first stationary 
steam engine. In May, 1855, seeing an opportunity to expand, 
he persuaded Ira Gilchrist to form a partnership with him 
under the name of W. H. Perry & Company. A brief month 
later, however— so quickly did enterprises evolve in early Los 
Angeles — Perry gave up carpentering and joined James D. 
Brady in the furniture business. Their location was on Main 
Street between Arcadia and the Plaza. They continued together 
several years, until Wallace Woodworth — one of Tom Mott's 
horsemen who went out to avenge the death of Sheriff Barton 
— bought out Brady's interest, when the firm became Perry & 
Woodworth. They prospered and grew in importance, their 
speciality being inside cabinet-work; and on September 6th, 
1 86 1, they established a lumberyard in town, with the first 
regular saw- and planing-mills seen here. They then manu- 
factured beehives, furniture and upholstery, and contracted 

82 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

for building and house- furnishing. In 1863, Stephen H., 
brother of Tom Mott, joined the firm. Perry & Woodworth 
were both active in politics, one being a Councilman, the 
other a Supervisor — the latter, a Democratic leader, going as a 
delegate to the convention that nominated General Winfield 
S. Hancock for the presidency. Their political affiliations 
indeed gave them an influence which, in the awarding of con- 
tracts, was sufficient to keep them supplied with large orders. 
Woodworth 's demise occurred in 1883. Perry died on October 
30th, 1906. 

Nels Williamson, a native of Maine and a clever fellow, 
was another carpenter who was here when I arrived. He had 
come across the Plains from New Orleans in 1852 as one of a 
party of twenty. In the neighborhood of El Paso de Aguila 
they were all ambushed by Indians, and eighteen members of 
the party were killed; Williamson, and Dick Johnson, afterward 
a resident of Los Angeles, being the two that escaped. On a 
visit to Kern County, Nels was shot by a hunter who mistook 
him for a bear; the result of which was that he was badly 
crippled for life. So long as he lived — and he approached 
ninety years — Nels, like many old-timers, was horribly profane. 

Henri Penelon, a fresco-painter, was here in 1853, and was 
recognized as a decorator of some merit. When the old Plaza 
Church was renovated, he added some ornamental touches to it. 
At a later period, he was a photographer as well as a painter. 

Among the blacksmiths then in Los Angeles was a well- 
known German, John Goller, who conducted his trade in his 
own shop, occupying about one hundred feet on Los Angeles 
Street where the Los Angeles Saddlery Company is now 
located. Goller was an emigrant who came by way of the Salt 
Lake route, and who, when he set up as the pioneer blacksmith 
and wagon-maker, was supplied by Louis Wilhart, who had a 
tannery on the west side of the river, with both tools and 
customers. When Goller arrived, ironworkers were scarce, 
and he was able to command pretty much his own prices. 
He charged sixteen dollars for shoeing a horse and used to 
laugh as he told how he received nearly five hundred dollars 

i853l In and Near the Old Pueblo 83 

for his part in rigging up the awning in front of a neighboring 
house. When, in 1851, the Court of Sessions ordered the 
Sheriff to see that fifty lances were made for the volunteer 
Rangers, Goller secured the contract. Another commission 
which he filled was the making for the County of a three-inch 
branding-iron with the letters, L. A. There being little iron in 
stock, Goller bought up old wagon-tires cast away on the plains, 
and converted them into various utensils, including even horse- 
shoes. As an early wagon-maker he had rather a discouraging 
experience, his first wagon remaining on his hands a good while : 
the natives looked upon it with inquisitive distrust and still 
clung to their heavy carreias. He had introduced, however, 
more modern methods, and gradually he established a good 
sale. Afterward he extended his field of operations, the 
late sixties finding him shipping wagons all over the State. 
His prosperity increased, and Mullaly, Porter & Ayers con- 
structed for him one of the first brick buildings in Los Angeles. 
A few years later, Goller met with heavy financial reverses, 
losing practically all that he had. 

I have stated that no care was given to either the streets or 
sidewalks, and a daily evidence of this was the confusion in the 
neighborhood of John's shop, which, together with his yard, 
was one of the sights of the little town because the blacksmith 
had strewn the footway, and even part of the road, with all 
kinds of piled-up material; to say nothing of a lot of horses 
invariably waiting there to be shod. The result was that 
passers-by were obliged to make a detour into the often muddy 
street to get around and past Goller's premises. 

John Ward was an Angeleno who knew something of the 
transition from heavy to lighter vehicles. He was born in Vir- 
ginia and took part in the Battle of New Orleans. In the thir- 
ties he went to Santa Fe, in one of the earliest prairie schooners 
to that point ; thence he came to Los Angeles for a temporary 
stay, making the trip in the first carriage ever brought to the 
Coast from a Yankee workshop. In 1849, he returned for 
permanent residence; and here he died in 1859. 

D. Anderson, whose daughter married Jerry Newell, a 

84 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

pioneer of 1856, was a carriage-maker, having previously been 
in partnership with a man named Burke in the making of pack- 
saddles. After a while, when Anderson had a shop on Main 
Street, he commenced making a vehicle somewhat lighter than 
a road wagon and less elaborate than a carriage. With mate- 
rials generally purchased from me he covered the vehicle, mak- 
ing it look like a hearse. A newspaper clipping evidences 
Anderson's activity in the middle seventies — "a little shaky 
on his pins, but' cordial as ever." 

Carriages were very scarce in California at the time 
of my arrival, although there were a few, Don Abel Stearns 
possessing the only private vehicle in Los Angeles; and trans- 
portation was almost entirely by means of saddle-horses, or the 
native, capacious carretas. These consisted of a heavy plat- 
form, four or five by eight or ten feet in size, mounted on two 
large, solid wheels, sawed out of logs, and were exceedingly 
primitive in appearance, although the owners sometimes 
decorated them elaborately; while the wheels moved on 
coarse, wooden axles, affording the traveler more jounce 
than restful ride. The carretas served, indeed, for nearly all 
the carrying business that was done between the ranchos and 
Los Angeles; and when in operation, the squeaking could be 
heard at a great distance, owing especially to the fact that the 
air being undisturbed by factories or noisy traffic, quiet gener- 
ally prevailed. So solid were these vehicles that, in early wars, 
they were used for barricades and the making of temporary 
corrals, and also for transporting cannon. 

This sharp squeaking of the carreta, however, while pene- 
trating and disagreeable in the extreme, served a purpose, 
after all, as the signal that a buyer was approaching town; 
for the vehicle was likely to have on board one or even two 
good-sized families of women and children, and the keenest 
expectation of our little business world was consequently 
aroused, bringing merchants and clerks to the front of their 
stores. A couple of oxen, by means of ropes attached to 
their horns, pulled the carretas, while the men accompanied their 
families on horseback ; and as the roving oxen were inclined to 

i853l In and Near the Old Pueblo 85 

leave the road, one of the riders (wielding a long, pointed stick) 
was kept busy moving from side to side, prodding the wandering 
animals and thus holding them to the highway. Following 
these carretas, there were always from twenty-five to fifty 
dogs, barking and howling as if mad. 

Some of the carretas had awnings and other tasteful trim- 
mings, and those who could afford it spent a great deal of 
money on saddles and bridles. Each cahallero was supplied with 
a reata (sometimes locally misspelled riata) or leathern rope, 
one end of which was tied around the neck of the horse while 
the other — coiled and tied to the saddle when not in use — was 
held by the horseman when he went into a house or store; 
for hitching posts were unknown, with the natural result 
that there were many runaways. When necessary, the reata 
was lowered to the level of the ground, to accommodate 
passers-by. Riders were always provided with one or two 
pistols, to say nothing of the knife which was frequently a 
part of the armament ; and I have seen even sabers suspended 
from the saddles. 

As I have remarked, Don Abel Stearns owned the first 
carriage in town ; it was a strong, but rather light and graceful 
vehicle, with a closed top, which he had imported from Boston 
in 1853, to please Dona Arcadia, it was said. However that may 
be, it was pronounced by Don Abel's neighbors the same dismal 
failure, considering the work it would be called upon to per- 
form under California conditions, as these wiseacres later 
estimated the product of John Goller's carriage shop to be. 
Speaking of Goller, reminds me that John Schumacher gave 
him an order to build a spring wagon with a cover, in which he 
might take his family riding. It was only a one-horse affair, 
but probably because of the springs and the top which afforded 
protection from both the sun and the rain, it was looked upon 
as a curiosity. 

It is interesting to note, in passing, that John H. Jones, who 
was brought from Boston as a coachman by Henry Melius — 
while Mrs. Jones came as a seamstress for Mrs. Melius — and 
who for years drove for Abel Stearns, left a very large estate 

86 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

when he died, including such properties as the northeast 
corner of Fifth and Spring streets, the northwest corner of 
Main and Fifth streets (where, for several years, he resided,) 
and other sites of great value; and it is my recollection that 
his wage as coachman was the sole basis of this huge accu- 
mulation. Stearns, as I mention elsewhere, suffered for years 
from financial troubles; and I have always understood that 
during that crisis Jones rendered his former employer assistance. 

Mrs. Fremont, the General's wife, also owned one of the 
first carriages in California. It was built to order in the East 
and sent around the Horn; and was constructed so that it 
could be fitted up as a bed, thus enabling the distinguished lady 
and her daughter to camp wherever night might overtake them. 

Shoemakers had a hard time establishing themselves in Los 
Angeles in the fifties. A German shoemaker — perhaps I should 
say a Schuhmachermeister! — was said to have come and gone 
by the beginning of 1852; and less than a year later, Andrew 
Lehman, a fellow-countryman of John Behn, arrived from Ba- 
den and began to solicit trade. So much, however, did the gen- 
eral stores control the sale of boots and shoes at that time, that 
Lehman used to say it was three years before he began to make 
more than his expenses. Two other shoemakers, Morris and 
Weber, came later. Slaney Brothers, in the late sixties, 
opened the first shoe store here. 

In connection with shoemakers and their lack of patronage, 
I am reminded of the different foot gear worn by nearly every 
man and boy in the first quarter of a century after my arrival, 
and the way they were handled. Then shoes were seldom 
used, although clumsy brogans were occasionally in demand. 
Boots were almost exclusively worn by the male population, 
those designed for boys usually being tipped with copper at the 
toes. A dozen pair, of different sizes, came in a case, and often 
a careful search was required through several boxes to find 
just the size needed. At such times, the dealer would fish out 
one pair after another, tossing them carelessly onto the floor; 
and as each case contained odd sizes that had proven unsal- 
able, the none too patient and sometimes irascible merchant had 

i8s3] In and Near the Old Pueblo 87 

to handle and rehandle the slow-moving stock. Some of the 
boots were highly ornamented at the top, and made a fine 
exhibit when displayed (by means of strings passing through 
the boot straps) in front of the store. Boot- jacks, now as 
obsolete as the boots themselves, are also an institution of that 

Well out in the country, where the Capitol Milling Com- 
pany's plant now stands, and perhaps as successor to a still 
earlier mill built there by an Englishman, Joseph Chapman 
(who married into the Ortega family — since become famous 
through Emile C. Ortega who, in 1898, successfully began 
preserving California chilis), — was a small mill, run by water, 
known as the Eagle Mills. This was owned at different times 
by Abel Stearns, Francis Melius and J. R. Scott, and con- 
ducted, from 1855 to 1868, by John Turner, who came here for 
that purpose, and whose son, William, with Fred Lambourn 
later managed the grocery store of Lambourn & Turner on Aliso 
Street. The miller made poor flour indeed; though proba- 
bly it was quite equal to that produced by Henry Dalton at 
the Azusa, John Rowland at the Puente, Michael White at 
San Gabriel, and the Theodore brothers at their Old Mill in Los 
Angeles. The quantity of wheat raised in Southern California 
was exceedingly small, and whenever the raw material became 
exhausted. Turner's supply of flour gave out, and this indis- 
pensable commodity was then procured from San Francisco. 
Turner, who was a large-hearted man and helpful to his fellows, 
died in 1878. In the seventies, the mill was sold to J. D. 
Deming, and by him to J. Loew, who still controls the corpora- 
tion, the activity of which has grown with the city. 

Half a year before my coming to Los Angeles, or in 
April, 1853, nearly twenty-five thousand square miles had been 
lopped off from Los Angeles County, to create the County of 
San Bernardino; and yet in that short time the Mormons, who 
had established themselves there in 1851 as a colony on a 
tract of land purchased from Diego Sepulveda and the three 
Lugos — Jose del Carmen, Jose Maria and Vicente — and 
consisting of about thirty-five thousand acres, had quite 

88 Sixty Years in Southern Californi [1853 

succeeded in their agricultural and other ventures. Copying 
somewhat the plan of Salt Lake City, they laid out a town a 
mile square, with right-angled blocks of eight acres and irri- 
gating zanjas parallel with the streets. In a short time, they 
were raising corn, wheat (some of it commanding five dollars 
a bushel), barley and vegetables; and along their route of 
travel, by way of the Mormon metropolis, were coming to the 
Southland many substantial pioneers. From San Bernardino, 
Los Angeles drew her supply of butter, eggs and poultry ; and as 
three days were ordinarily required for their transportation 
across what was then known as the desert, these products 
arrived in poor condition, particularly during the summer heat. 
The butter would melt, and the eggs would become stale. This 
disadvantage, however, was in part compensated for by the 
economical advantage of the industry and thrift of the Mor- 
mons, and their favorable situation in an open, fertile country; 
for they could afford to sell us their produce very reasonably — 
fifteen cents a dozen for eggs, and three dollars a dozen for 
chickens well satisfying them! San Bernardino also supplied 
all of our wants in the lumber line. A lumber yard was then 
a prospect — seven or eight years elapsing before the first 
yard and planing-mill were established; and this necessary 
building material was peddled around town by the Mormon 
teamsters who, after disposing of all they could in this manner, 
bartered the balance to storekeepers to be later put on sale 
somewhere near their stores. 

But two towns broke the monotony of a trip between Los 
Angeles and San Bernardino, and they were San Gabriel 
Mission and El Monte. I need not remind my readers that 
the former place, the oldest and quaintest settlement in the 
county, was founded by Father Junipero Serra and his asso- 
ciates in 1 77 1, and that thence radiated all of their operations 
in this neighborhood; nor that, in spite of all the sacrifice and 
human effort, matters with this beautifully-situated Mission 
were in a precarious condition for several decades. It may be 
less known, however, that the Mission Fathers excelled in the 
cultivation of citrus fruits, and that their chief competitors, in 

i853] In and Near the Old Pueblo 89 

1853, were William Wolf skill and Louis Vignes, who were also 
raising seedling oranges of a very good quality. The population 
of San Gabriel was then principally Indian and Mexican, al- 
though there were a few whites dwelling some distance away. 
Among these, J. S. Mallard, afterward Justice of the Peace and 
father of the present City Assessor, Walter Mallard, carried on 
a small business ; and Mrs. Laura Cecelia Evertsen — mother-in- 
law of an old pioneer, Andrew J. King, whose wife is the tal- 
ented daughter, Mrs. Laura Evertsen King — also had a store 
there. Still another early storekeeper at the quaint settlement 
was Max Lazard, nephew of Solomon Lazard, who later went 
back to France. Another pioneer to settle near the San Gabriel 
River was Louis Phillips, a native of Germany who reached 
California in 1850, by way of Louisiana, and for a while did 
business in a little store on the Long Wharf at San Francisco. 
Then he came to Los Angeles, where he engaged in trade; in 
1853, he bought land on which, for ten years or until he removed 
to Spadra (where Mrs. Phillips still survives him) , he tilled the 
soil and raised stock. The previous year, Hugo Reid, of whom 
I often heard my neighbors speak in a complimentary way, 
had died at San Gabriel where he had lived and worked. Reid 
was a cultured Scotchman who, though born in the British Isles, 
had a part, as a member of the convention, in making the first 
Constitution for California. He married an Indian woman and, 
in his leisure hours, studied the Indians on the mainland and 
CataHna, contributing to the Los Angeles Star a series of 
articles on the aborigines still regarded as the valuable testi- 
mony of an eyewitness. 

This Indian wife of the scholarly Reid reminds me of Nathan 
Tuch, who came here in 1853, having formerly lived in 
Cleveland where he lost his first wife. He was thoroughly 
honest, very quiet and genteel, and of an affectionate dis- 
position. Coming to California and San Gabriel, he opened 
a little store; and there he soon married a full-blooded squaw. 
Notwithstanding, however, the difference in their stations and 
the fact that she was uneducated, Tuch always remained 
faithful to her, and treated her with every mark of respect. 

90 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

When I last visited Tuch and his shop, I saw there a home-made 
sign, reading about as follows : 


When he died, his wife permitted his burial in the Jewish 

Michael White was another pioneer, who divided his time 
between San Gabriel and the neighborhood that came to be 
known as San Bernardino, near which he had the rancho 
Muscupiabe. Although drifting hither as long ago as 1828, he 
died, in the late eighties, without farm, home or friends. 

Cyrus Burdick was still another settler who, after leaving 
Iowa with his father and other relatives in December, 1853, 
stopped for a while at San Gabriel. Soon young Burdick went to 
Oregon; but, being dissatisfied, he returned to the Mission and 
engaged in farming. In 1855, he was elected Constable; a year 
later, he opened a store at San Gabriel, which he conducted for 
eight or nine years. Subsequently, the Burdicks lived in Los 
Angeles, at the corner of First and Fort streets on the site 
of the present Tajo Building. They also owned the northeast 
corner of Second and Spring streets. This property became 
the possession of Fred Eaton, through his marriage to Miss 
Helen L. Burdick. 

Fielding W. Gibson came early in the fifties. He had bought 
at Sonora, Mexico, some five hundred and fifty head of cattle, 
but his vaqueros kept up such a regular system of side-tracking 
and thieving that, by the time he reached the San Gabriel 
Valley, he had only about one-seventh of his animals left. 
Fancying that neighborhood, he purchased two hundred and 
fifty acres of land from Henry Dalton and located west of 
El Monte, where he raised stock and broom corn. 

El Monte — a name by some thought to refer to the ad- 
jacent mountains, but actually alluding to the dense willow 
forests then surrounding the hamlet — the oldest American 
settlement in the county, was inhabited by a party of mixed 

i853] In and Near the Old Pueblo 91 

emigrants, largely Texans and including Ira W. Thompson who 
opened the first tavern there and was the Postmaster when its 
Post Office was officially designated Monte. Others were 
Dr. Obed Macy and his son Oscar, of whom I speak elsewhere, 
Samuel M. Heath and Charlotte Gray, who became John 
Rowland's second wife; the party having taken possession, in 
the summer of 1851, of the rich farming tract along the San 
Gabriel River some eleven or twelve miles east of Los Angeles. 
The summer before I came, forty or fifty more families arrived 
there, and among them were A. J. King, afterward a citizen of 
Los Angeles; Dr. T. A. Hayes, William and Ezekiel Rubottom, 
Samuel King — A. J. King's father — J. A. Johnson, Jacob Weil, 
A. Madox, A. J. Horn, Thomas A. Garey, who acquired quite 
a reputation as a horticulturist, and Jonathan Tibbets, spoken 
of in another chapter. While tilling the soil, these farmer folks 
made it their particular business to keep Whigs and, later, 
Republicans out of office ; and slim were the chances of those 
parties in El Monte and vicinity, but correspondingly enthusias- 
tic were the receptions given Democratic candidates and their 
followers visiting there. Another important function that 
engaged these worthy people was their part in the lynchings 
which were necessary in Los Angeles. As soon as they re- 
ceived the cue, the Monte boys galloped into town; and being 
by temperament and training, through frontier life, used to 
dealing with the rougher side of human nature, they were 
recognized disciplinarians. The fact is that such was the 
peculiar public spirit animating these early settlers that no one 
could live and prosper at the Monte who was not extremely 
virile and ready for any dare-devil emergency. 

David Lewis, a Supervisor of 1855, crossed the continent 
to the San Gabriel Valley in 1851, marrying there, in the follow- 
ing year, a daughter of the innkeeper Ira Thompson, just 
referred to. Thompson was a typical Vermonter and a good, 
popular fellow, who long kept the Overland Stage station. 
Sometime in the late fifties, Lewis was a pioneer in the growing 
of hops. Jonathan Tibbets, who settled at El Monte the year 
that I came to Los Angeles, had so prospered by 1871 that he 

92 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853 

left for the mines in Mohave County, Arizona, to inaugurate a 
new enterprise, and took with him some twenty thousand 
pounds of cured pork and a large quantity of lard, which had 
been prepared at El Monte. Samuel M. Heath was another 
El Monte pioneer of 1851; he died in 1876, kindly remem- 
bered by many poor immigrants. H. L., J. S. and S. D. Thur- 
man were farmers at El Monte, who came here in 1852. 
E. C. Parish, who arrived in 1854 and became a Supervisor, 
was also a ranchman there. Other El Monte folks, afterward 
favorably spoken of, were the Hoyts, who were identified with 
early local education. 

Dr. Obed Macy, father of Mrs. Sam Foy, came to Los 
Angeles from the Island of Nantucket, where he was born, by 
way of Indiana, in which State he had practiced medicine, 
arriving in Southern California about 1850 and setthng in El 
Monte. He moved to Los Angeles, a year later, and bought the 
Bella Union from Winston & Hodges; where were opened the 
Alameda Baths, on the site of the building later erected by 
his son Oscar. There Dr. Macy died on July 9th, 1857. Oscar, 
a printer on the Southern Calijornian, had set type in San 
Francisco, swung a miner's pick and afterward returned to El 
Monte where he took up a claim which, in time, he sold to 
Samuel King. Macy Street recalls this pioneer family. 

The San Fernando and San Juan Capistrano missions, and 
Agua Caliente, were the only other settlements in Los Angeles 
County then; the former, famous by 1854 for its olives, passing 
into history both through the activity of the Mission Fathers 
and also the renowned set-to between Micheltorena and Cas- 
tro when, after hours of cannonading and grotesque swinging 
of the would-be terrifying reata, the total of the dead was — a 
single mule! Then, or somewhat subsequently, General 
Andres Pico began to occupy what was the most preten- 
tious adobe in the State, formerly the abode of the padres — a 
building three hundred feet long, eighty feet wide and with 
walls four feet thick. 

In 1853, there was but one newspaper in the city — a weekly 
known as La Estrella de los Angeles or The Los Angeles Star, 

j853] In and Near the Old Pueblo 93 

printed half in Spanish, half in English. It was founded on 
May 17th, 1851, by John A. Lewis and John McElroy, who had 
their printing office in the lower room of a small wooden house 
on Los Angeles Street, near the corral of the Bella Union hotel. 
This firm later became Lewis, McElroy & Rand. There was 
then no telegraphic communication with the outside world, 
and the news ordinarily conveyed by the sheet was anything 
but important. Indeed, all such information was known, each 
week, by the handful of citizens in the little town long before 
the paper was published, and delays in getting mail from a dis- 
tance — in one case the post from San Francisco to Los Angeles 
being under way no less than fifty-two days! — led to Lewis 
giving up the editorship in disgust. When a steamer arrived, 
some little news found its way into the paper; but even then 
matters of national and international moment became known 
in Los Angeles only after the lapse of a month or so. The 
admission of California to the Union in 1850, for example, was 
first reported on the Coast six weeks after Congress had voted 
in California's favor; while in 1852, the deaths of Clay and 
Webster were not known in the West until more than a month 
after they had occurred. This was a slight improvement, 
however, over the conditions in 1841 when (it used to be said) 
no one west of the Rockies knew of President Harrison's demise 
until over three months and a half after he was buried! Our 
first Los Angeles newspaper was really rnore of an advertising 
medium than anything else, and the printing outfit was de- 
cidedly primitive, though the printers may not have been as 
badly off as were the typos of the Calif ornian. The latter, 
using type picked up in a Mexican cloister, found no 1^'s 
among the Spanish letters and had to set double F's until 
more type was brought from the Cannibal or Sandwich Islands ! 
Which reminds me of Jose de la Rosa, born in Los Angeles 
about 1790, and the first journeyma.n to set type in California, 
who died over one hundred years old. But if the Estrella made a 
poor showing as a newspaper, I have no doubt that, to add to 
the editor's misfortunes, the advertising rates were so low that 
his entire income was but small. In 1854, the Star and its 

94 Sixty Years in Southern California I1853 

imprenta, as it was then styled, were sold to a company or- 
ganized by James S. Waite, who, a year later, was appointed 
Postmaster of the city. Speaking of the Star, I should add that 
one of its first printers was Charles Meyrs Jenkins, later City 
Zanjero, who had come to California, a mere stripling, with his 
stepfather, George Dalton, Sr. 

The Post Office, too, at this time, was far from being an 
important institution. It was located in an adobe building on 
Los Angeles, between Commercial and Arcadia streets, and Dr. 
William B, Osburn, sometimes known as Osbourn — who came 
to California from New York in 1847, in Colonel Stevenson's 
regiment, and who had established a drug store, such as it was, 
in 1850 — had just been appointed Postmaster. A man who in 
his time played many parts, Osburn had half a dozen other 
irons in the fire besides politics (including the interests of a 
floral nursery and an auction room), and as the Postmaster 
was generally away from his office, citizens desiring their 
mail would help themselves out of a soap box — subdivided like 
a pigeon house, each compartment being marked with a letter; 
and in this way the city's mail was distributed! Indifferent 
as Dr. Osburn was to the postmastership (which, of course, 
could not have paid enough to command anyone's exclusive 
services), he was rather a clever fellow and, somewhat naturally 
perhaps for a student of chemistry, is said to have made as 
early as August 9th, 185 1, (and in connection with one Moses 
Searles, a pioneer house and sign painter) the first daguerreo- 
type photographs produced in Los Angeles. For two years or 
more, Dr. Osburn remained Postmaster, resigning his office 
on November ist, 1855, While he was a notary public, he 
had an office in Keller's Building on Los Angeles Street. J. H. 
Blond was another notary; he had an office opposite the Bella 
Union on Main Street. Osburn died in Los Angeles on July 
31st, 1867. 

No sooner had I arrived in San Francisco, than I became 
aware of the excitement incidental to the search for gold, and on 
reaching Los Angeles, I found symptoms of the same fever. 
That year, as a matter of fact, recorded the highest output of 

1853] In and Near the Old Pueblo 95 

gold, something like sixty-five million dollars' worth being 
mined; and it was not many months before all was bustle in 
and about our little city, many people coming and going, and 
comparatively few wishing to settle, at least until they had first 
tried their luck with the pick and pan. Not even the discovery 
of gold in the San Feliciano Cafion, near Newhall, in the early 
forties — for I believe the claim is made that Southern Cali- 
fornians, while searching for wild onions, had the honor of 
digging out, in the despised "cow-counties," the first lump of the 
coveted metal — had set the natives so agog; so that while the 
rush to the mines claimed many who might otherwise have be- 
come permanent residents, it added but little to the prosperity 
of the town, and it is no wonder that, for a while, the local news- 
papers refused to give events the notice which they deserved. 
To be sure, certain merchants — among them dealers in tinware, 
hardware and groceries, and those who catered especially to 
miners, carrying such articles as gold-washers, canteens and 
camp-outfits — increased their trade ; but many prospective gold- 
seekers, on their way to distant diggings, waited until they got 
nearer the scene of their adventures before buying tools and 
supplies, when they often exhausted their purses in paying the 
exorbitant prices which were asked. Barring the success of 
Francisco Garcia who used gangs of Indians and secured in the 
one year 1855 over sixty thousand dollars' worth of gold — 
one nugget being nearly two thousand dollars in value — the 
placer gold-mining carried on in the San Gabriel and San Fran- 
cisquito canons was on the whole unimportant, and what gold- 
dust was produced at these points came to Los Angeles without 
much profit to the toiling miners; so that it may be safely 
stated that cattle- and horse-raising, of which I shall speak in 
more detail, were Southern California's principal sources of 
income. As for the gold dust secured, San Francisco was the 
clearing-house for the Coast, and all of the dust ultimately 
found its way there until sometime later Sacramento developed 
and became a competitor. Coming, as I did, from a part of the 
world where gold dust was never seen, at least by the layman, 
this sudden introduction to sacks and bottles full of the fas- 

96 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853] 

cinating yellow metal produced upon me, as the reader may- 
imagine, another one of those strange impressions fixing so 
indelibly my first experiences in the new, raw and yet altogether 
romantic world. 



1 853- 1 854 

AT the time of my arrival, the Plaza, long the nucleus of the 
original settlement, was the center of life in the little 
community, and around it clustered the homes of many 
of those who were uppermost in the social scale, although some 
of the descendants of the finest Spanish families were living in 
other parts of the city. This was particularly so in the case of Jose 
Andres Sepiilveda, who had a beautiful old adobe on some acreage 
that he owned northwest of Sonora Town, near the place where 
he constructed a stone reservoir to supply his house with water. 
Opposite the old Plaza Church dwelt a number of families of 
position and, for the most part, of wealth — in many cases the 
patrons of less fortunate or dependent ones, who lived nearby. 
The environment was not beautiful, a solitary pepper, some- 
what north of the Plaza, being the only shade-tree there ; yet the 
general character of the homes was somewhat aristocratic, the 
landscape not yet having been seriously disturbed by any utili- 
tarian project such as that of the City Fathers who, by later 
granting a part of the old square for a prosaic water tank, 
created a greater rumpus than had the combative soldiers 
some years before. The Plaza was shaped much as it is at 
present, having been reduced considerably, but five or six 
years earlier, by the Mexican authorities : they had planned to 
improve its shape, but had finished their labors by contract- 
ing the object before them. There was no sign of a park ; on 
the contrary, parts of the Plaza itself, which had suffered the 
1 97 

98 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853- 

same fate as the Plaza in San Francisco, were used as a dump- 
ing-ground for refuse. From time to time many church and other 
festivals were held at this square — a custom no doubt traceable 
to the Old World and to earlier centuries ; but before any such 
affair could take place — requiring the erecting of booths and 
banks of vegetation in front of the neighboring houses — all rub- 
bish had to be removed, even at the cost of several days' work. 

Among the distinguished citizens of Los Angeles whose 
residences added to the social prestige of the neighborhood 
was Don Ygnacio Del Valle, father of R. F. Del Valle. Until 
1861, he resided on the east side of the square, in a house 
between Calle de los Negros and Olvera Street, receiving there 
his intimate friends as well as those who wished to pay him 
their respects when he was Alcalde, Councilman and member 
of the State Legislature. In 1861, Del Valle moved to his ranch, 
Camulos. Ygnacio Coronel was another eminent burgher 
residing on the east side of the Plaza, while Cristobal Aguilar's 
home faced the South. 

Not far from Del Valle's — that is, back of the later site of 
the Pico House, between the future Sanchez Street and Calle 
de los Negros — lived Don Pio Pico, then and long after a 
striking figure, not merely on account of his fame as the last of 
the Mexican governors, but as well because of his physique 
and personality. I may add that as long as he lived, or at 
least until the tide of his fortune turned and he was forced to 
sell his most treasured personal effects, he invariably adorned 
himself with massive jewelry of much value; and as a further 
conceit, he frequently wore on his bosom Mexican decorations 
that had been bestowed upon him for past official services. 
Don Pio really preferred country life at the Ranchito, as his 
place was called; but official duties and, later, illness and the 
need of medical care, kept him in town for months at a time. 
He had three sisters, two of whom married in succession Jos6 
Antonio Carrillo, another resident at the Plaza and the then 
owner of the site of the future Pico House ; while the third was 
the wife of Don Juan Forster, in whose comfortable home Don 
Pio found a retreat when distressing poverty overtook him in 

1854] Round About the Plaza 99 

old age. Sanchez Street recalls still another don of the neigh- 
borhood, Vicente Sanchez, grandfather of Tomas A. Sanchez, 
who was domiciled in a two-story and rather elaborate dwelling 
near Carrillo, on the south side of the Plaza. Sanchez Hall 
stood there until the late seventies. 

The Beau Brummel of Los Angeles in the early fifties was 
Don Vicente Lugo, whose wardrobe was made up exclusively 
of the fanciest patterns of Mexican type; his home, one of the 
few two-story houses in the pueblo, was close to Ygnacio Del 
Valle's. Lugo, a brother of Don Jose Maria, was one of the 
heavy taxpayers of his time; as late as i860, he had herds of 
twenty-five hundred head of cattle, or half a thousand more 
than Pio and Andres Pico together owned. Maria Ballestero, 
Lugo's mother-in-law, lived near him. 

Don Agustin Olvera dwelt almost opposite Don Vicente 
Lugo's, on the north side of the Plaza, at the corner of the 
street perpetuating his name. Don Agustin arrived from Mex- 
ico, where he had been Juez de Paz, in 1834, or about the same 
time that Don Ygnacio Coronel came, and served as Captain in 
the campaign of Flores against Fremont, even negotiating peace 
with the Americans; then he joined Dr. Hope's volunteer police, 
and was finally chosen, at the first election in Los Angeles, 
Judge of the First Instance, becoming the presiding officer of 
the Court of Sessions. Five or six years later, he was School 
Commissioner. He had married Dona Concepcion, one of not 
less than twenty-two children of Don Santiago Arguello, son of 
a governor of both Californias, and his residence was at the 
northeast end of the Plaza, in an adobe which is still standing. 
There, while fraternizing with the newly-arrived Americans, 
he used to tell how, in 1850, when the movement for the ad- 
mission of California as a State was under way, he acted as 
secretary to a meeting called in this city to protest against the 
proposal, fearing lest the closer association with Northern 
California would lead to an undue burden of taxes upon the 
South. Olvera Street is often written by mistake, Olivera. 

Francisco O'Campo was another man of means whose 
home was on the east side of the Plaza. Although he was also a 

loo Sixty Years in Southern California [1853- 

memberof the new Ayimtamiento , inaugurated in 1849, and al- 
though he had occupied other offices, he was very improvident, 
like so many natives of the time, and died, in consequence, a 
poor man. In his later years, he used to sit on the curbstone 
near the Plaza, a character quite forlorn, utterly dejected in 
appearance, and despondently recalling the by-gone days of his 

Don Cristobal Aguilar, several times in his career an 
Alcalde, several times a City Councilman beginning with the 
first organization of Los Angeles, and even twice or thrice 
Mayor, was another resident near the Plaza. His adobe on 
upper Main Street was fairly spacious; and partly, perhaps, 
for that reason, was used by the Sisters of Charity when they 
instituted the first hospital in Los Angeles. 

A short distance from the Plaza, on Olvera Street, had long 
stood the home of Don Jose Maria Abila, who was killed in 
battle in the early thirties. It was there that Commodore 
Stockton made his headquarters, and the story of how this 
was brought about is one of the entertaining incidents of this 
warlike period. The widow Abila, who had scant love for the 
Americans, had fled with her daughters to the home of Don 
Luis' Vignes, but not before she placed a native boy on guard, 
cautioning him against opening either doors or windows. 
When the young custodian, however, heard the flourishes of 
Stockton's brass band, he could not resist the temptation to 
learn what the excitement meant; so he first poked his head 
out of a window, and finally made off to the Plaza. Some of 
Stockton's staff, passing by, and seeing the tasteful furniture 
within, were encouraged to investigate, with the result that 
they selected the widow Abila's house for Stockton's abode. 
Another Abila — Francisco — had an adobe at the present 
southeast corner of San Fernando and Alpine streets. 

Francisca Gallardo, daughter of one of the Sepulvedas, 
lived in the vicinity of the Plaza. 

The only church in Los Angeles at this time was that of 
Nuestra Senora la Reyna de los A ngeles, known as Our Lady, the 

' Often spoken of as Don Louis. • 

i8s4l Round About the Plaza loi 

Queen of the Angels, at the Plaza ; and since but few changes 
were made for years in its exterior, I looked upon the edifice as 
the original adobe built here in the eighties of the preceding 
century. When I came to inquire into the matter, however, I was 
astonished to learn that the Church dated back no farther than 
the year 1822, although the first attempt at laying a corner- 
stone was made in 18 15, probably somewhat to the east of the 
old Plaza and a year or two after rising waters frustrated the 
attempt to build a chapel near the river and the present Aliso 
Street. Those temporary foundations seem to have marked 
the spot where later the so-called Woman's Gun — once buried 
by Mexicans, and afterward dug up by women and used at 
the Battle of Dominguez Ranch — was long exposed to view, 
propped up on wooden blocks. The venerable building I then 
saw, in which all communicants for want of pews knelt on the 
floor or stood while worshiping, is still admired by those to 
whom age and sacred tradition, and the sacrifices of the early 
Spanish Fathers, make appeal. In the first years of my residence 
here, the bells of this honored old pile, ringing at six in the morn- 
ing and at eight in the evening, served as a curfew to regulate 
the daily activities of the town. 

Had Edgar Allan Poe lived in early Los Angeles, he might 
well have added to his poem one more stanza about these old 
church bells, whose sweet chimes, penetrating the peace and 
quiet of the sleepy village, not alone summoned the devout to 
early mass or announced the time of vespers, but as well called 
many a merchant to his day's labor and dismissed him to his 
home or the evening's rendezvous. That was a time of senti- 
ment and romance, and the memory of it lingers pleasantly in 
contrast with the rush and bustle of to-day, when cold and 
chronometrical exactitude, instead of a careless but, in its time, 
sufficient measure of the hours, arranged the order of our 
comings and our goings. 

Incidental to the ceremonial activity of the old Church on 
the Plaza, the Corpus Christi festival was one of the events of 
the year when not the least imposing feature was the opening 
procession around the Plaza. For all these occasions, the 

102 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853- 

square was thoroughly cleaned, and notable families, such as 
the Del Valles, the Olveras, the Lugos and the Picos erected 
before their residences temporary altars, decorated with silks, 
satins, laces and even costly jewelry. The procession would 
start from the Church after the four o'clock service and 
proceed around the Plaza from altar to altar. There the 
boys and girls, carrying banners and flowers, and robed 
or dressed in white, paused for formal worship, the progress 
through the square, small as the Plaza was, thus taking 
a couple of hours. Each succeeding year the procession be- 
came more resplendent and inclusive, and I have a distinct 
recollection of a feature incidental to one of them when 
twelve men, with twelve great burning candles, represented 
the Apostles. 

These midwinter festivities remind me that, on Christmas 
Eve, the young people here performed pastoral plays. It was 
the custom, much as it still is in Upper Bavaria, to call at the 
homes of various friends and acquaintances and, after giving 
little performances such as Los Pastores, to pass on to the next 
house. A number of the Apostles and other characters asso- 
ciated with the life of Jesus were portrayed, and the Devil, who 
scared half to death the little children of the hamlet, was never 
overlooked. The biinuelo, or native doughnut, also added its 
delight to these celebrations. 

And now a word about the old Spanish Missions in this 
vicinity. It was no new experience for me to see religious 
edifices that had attained great age, and this feature, therefore, 
made no special impression. I dare say that I visited the 
Mission of San Gabriel very soon after I arrived in Los Angeles ; 
but it was then less than a century old, and so was important 
only because it was the place of worship of many natives. 
The Protestant denominations were not as numerous then as 
now, and nearly all of the population was Catholic. With 
the passing of the years, sentimental reverence for the Span- 
ish Fathers has grown greater and their old Mission homes 
have acquired more and more the dignity of age. Helen 
Hunt Jackson's Ramona, John S. McGroarty's Mission Play 

John Jones 

Captain F. Morton 

Captain and Mrs. J. S. Garcia 

Captain Salisbury Haley 

El Palacio, Home of Abel and Arcadia Steams 

From a photograph of the seventies 

The Lugo Ranch-house, in the Nineties 

i854] Round About the Plaza 103 

(in which, by the by, Senorita Lucretia, daughter of R. F. and 
granddaughter of Don Ygnacio Del Valle, so ably portrays the 
character of Dona Josefa Yorba) and various other literary 
efforts have increased the interest in these institutions of the 

The missions and their chapels recall an old Mexican woman 
who had her home, when I came to Los Angeles, at what is now 
the southeast corner of San Pedro and First streets. She 
dwelt in a typical adobe, and in the rear of her house was a 
vineyard of attractive aspect. Adjoining one of the rooms of 
her dwelling was a chapel, large enough, perhaps, to hold ten or 
twelve people and somewhat like those on the Dominguez and 
Coronel estates; and this chapel, like all the other rooms, had 
an earthen floor. In it was a gaudily-decorated altar and crucifix. 
The old lady was very religious and frequently repaired to her 
sanctuary. From the sale of grapes, she derived, in part, her 
income ; and many a time have I bought from her the privilege 
of wandering through her vineyard and eating all I could of this 
refreshing berry. If the grape-season was not on, neighbors 
were none the less always welcome there; and it was in this 
quiet and delightful retreat that, in 1856, I proposed marriage 
to Miss Sarah Newmark, my future wife, such a mere girl that a 
few evenings later I found her at home playing jackstones — 
then a popular game — with Mrs. J. G. Downey, herself a child. 

But while Catholics predominated, the Protestant churches 
had made a beginning. Rev. Adam Bland, Presiding Elder 
of the Methodists in Los Angeles in 1854, had come here a 
couple of years before, to begin his work in the good, old- 
fashioned way; and, having bought the barroom. El Dorado, 
and torn down Hughes's sign, he had transformed the place into 
a chapel. But, alas for human foresight, or the lack of it : on at 
least a part of the new church lot, the Merced Theater later 
stood ! 

Two cemeteries were in existence at the time whereof I 
write: the Roman Catholic — abandoned a few years ago — 
which occupied a site on Buena Vista Street, and one, now long 
deserted, for other denominations. This cemetery, which we 

104 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853- 

shall see was sadly neglected, thereby occasioning bitter 
criticism in the press, was on Fort Hill. Later, another 
burial-ground was established in the neighborhood of what is 
now Flower and Figueroa streets, near Ninth, many years be- 
fore there was any thought of Rosedale or Evergreen. 

As for my co-religionists and their provision of a cemetery, 
when I first came to Los Angeles they were without a definite 
place for the interment of their dead; but in 1854 the first 
steps were taken to establish a Jewish cemetery here, and 
it was not very long before the first Jewish child to die in Los 
Angeles, named Mahler, was buried there. This cemetery, on 
land once owned and occupied by Jose Andres Sepiilveda's 
reservoir, was beautifully located in a recess or little pocket, 
as it were, among the hills in the northwest section of the city, 
where the environment of nature was in perfect harmony 
with the Jewish ideal — "Home of Peace." 

Mrs. Jacob Rich, by the way, had the distinction of being 
the first Jewess to settle in Los Angeles; and I am under the 
impression that Mrs. E. Greenbaum became the mother of the 
first Jewish child born here. 

Sam Prager arrived in 1854, ^'^^ after clerking a while, 
associated himself with the Morrises, who were just getting 
nicely established. For a time, they met with much suc- 
cess and were among the most important merchants of their 
day. Finally they dissolved, and the Morris Brothers bought 
the large tract of land which I have elsewhere described as 
having been refused by Newmark, Kremer & Company in 
liquidation of Major Henry Hancock's account. Here, for 
several years, in a fine old adobe lived the Morris family, dis- 
pensing a bountiful hospitalit}^ quite in keeping with the open- 
handed manner of the times. In the seventies, the Morris 
Brothers sold this property — later known as Morris Vineyard 
— after they had planted it to vines, for the insignificant 
sum of about twenty thousand dollars. 

Following Sam Prager, came his brother Charles. For a 
short time they were associated, but afterward they operated 
independently, Charles Prager starting on Commercial Street, 

i8s4l Round About the Plaza 105 

on May 19th, 1869. Sam Prager, long known as "Uncle Sam," 
was a good-natured and benevolent man, taking a deep interest 
in Masonic matters, becoming Master of 42, and a regular 
attendant at the annual meetings of the Grand Lodge of 
California. He was also Chairman of the Masonic Board of 
Relief until the time of his death. Charles Prager and the 
Morrises have all gone to that 

undiscovered country, from whose bourn 
No traveler returns. 

In the summer of 1853, a movement was inaugurated, 
through the combined efforts of Mayors Nichols and Coronel, 
aided by John T. Jones, to provide public schools; and three 
citizens, J. Lancaster Brent, Lewis Granger and Stephen C. 
Foster, were appointed School Commissioners. As early as 
1838, Ygnacio Coronel, assisted by his wife and daughter, had 
accepted some fifteen dollars a month from the authorities — 
to permit the exercise of official supervision — and opened a 
school which, as late as 1854, ^^ conducted in his own home; 
thereby doubtless inspiring his son Antonio to take marked 
interest in the education of the Indians. From time to time, 
private schools, partly subsidized from public funds, were com- 
menced. In May, 1854, Mayor Foster pointed out that, while 
there were fully five hundred children of school age and the 
pueblo had three thousand dollars surplus, there was still no 
school building which the City could call its own. New trustees 
— Manuel Requena, Francis Melius and W. T. B. Sanford — 
were elected; and then happened what, perhaps, has not oc- 
curred here since, or ever in any other California town : Foster, 
still Mayor, was also chosen School Superintendent. The 
new energy put into the movement now led the Board to build, 
late in 1854 o^ early in 1855, a two-story brick schoolhouse, 
known as School No. i , on the northwest corner of Spring and 
Second streets, on the lot later occupied, first by the old City 
Hall and secondly by the Bryson Block. This structure cost 
six thousand dollars. Strange as it now seems, the location 
was then rather "out in the country;" and I dare say the 

io6 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853- 

selection was made, in part, to get the youngsters away from 
the residential district around the Plaza. There school was 
opened on March 19th, 1855; Wilham A. Wallace, a botanist 
who had been sent here to study the flora, having charge of the 
boys' department and Miss Louisa Hayes directing the division 
for girls. Among her pupils were Sarah Newmark and her 
sisters; Mary Wheeler, who married William Pridham; and 
Lucinda Macy, afterward Mrs. Foy, who recalls participating 
in the first public school examination, in June, 1856. Dr. 
John S. Griffin, on June 7th, 1856, was elected Superintendent. 
Having thus established a public school, the City Council 
voted to discontinue all subsidies to private schools. 

One of the early school-teachers was the pioneer, James F. 
Burns. Coming with an emigrant train in 1853, Burns arrived 
in Los Angeles, after some adventures with the Indians near 
what was later the scene of the Mountain Meadow Massacre, 
in November of the same year. Having been trained in Kala- 
mazoo, Michigan, as a teacher, Burns settled, in 1854, in San 
Gabriel; and there with Caesar C. Twitchell, he conducted 
a cross-roads school in a tent. Later, while still Hving at 
San Gabriel, Burns was elected County School Superintend- 
ent. Before reaching here — that is, at Provo, Utah, on 
September 25th — the young schoolmaster had married Miss 
Lucretia Burdick, aunt of Fred Eaton's first wife. Burns, 
though of small stature, became one of the fighting sheriffs of 
the County. 

Among others who conducted schools in Los Angeles or 
vicinity, in the early days, were Mrs. Adam Bland, wife of the 
missionary; H. D. Barrows and the Hoyts. Mrs. Bland taught 
ten or twelve poor girls, in 1853, for which the Common Council 
allowed her about thirty-five dollars. Barrows was one of 
several teachers employed by William Wolfskill at various 
times, and at Wolfskill's school not merely were his own 
children instructed but those of the neighboring families of 
Carpenter, Rowland and Pleasants as well. Mrs. Gertrude 
Lawrence Hoyt was an Episcopal clergyman's wife from New 
York who, being made a widow, followed her son, Albert H. 

1854] Round About the Plaza 107 

Hoyt, to Los Angeles in 1853. Young Hoyt, a graduate of 
Rutgers College and a teacher excited by the gold fever, 
joined a hundred and twenty men who chartered the bark 
Clarissa Perkins to come around the Horn, in 1849; but failing 
as a miner, he began farming near Sacramento. When Mrs. 
Hoyt came to Los Angeles, she conducted a private school in a 
rented building north of the Plaza, beginning in 1854 and 
continuing until 1856; while her son moved south and took up 
seventy or eighty acres of land in the San Gabriel Valley, near 
El Monte. In 1855, young Hoyt came into town to assist his 
mother in the school; and the following year Mrs. Hoyt's 
daughter, Mary, journeyed West and also became a teacher here. 
Later, Miss Hoyt kept a school on Alameda Street near the 
site of the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad depot. Mrs. 
Hoyt died in Los Angeles in 1863. Other early teachers were 
William McKee, Mrs. Thomas Foster and Miss Anna Mc- 

As undeveloped as the pueblo was, Los Angeles boasted, in 
her very infancy, a number of physicians, although there were 
few, if any, Spanish or Mexican practitioners. In 1850, Drs. 
William B. Osburn, W. W. Jones, A. W. Hope, A. P. Hodges 
and a Dr. Overstreet were here; while in 1851, Drs. Thomas 
Foster, John Brinckerhoff and James P. McFarland followed, 
to be reenforced, in 1852, by Dr. James B. Winston and, soon 
after, by Drs. R. T. Hayes, T. J. White and A. B. Hayward. 
Dr. John Strother Griflfin (General Albert Sidney Johnston's 
brother-in-law and the accepted suitor of Miss Louisa Hayes) 
came to Los Angeles in 1848, or rather to San Gabriel — where, 
according to Hugo Reid, no physician had settled, though the 
population took drugs by the barrel ; being the ranking surgeon 
under Kearney and Stockton when, on January 8th, they drove 
back the Mexican forces. He was also one of the hosts to young 
W. T. Sherman. Not until 1854, however, after Griffin had 
returned to Washington and had resigned his commission, did he 
actually settle in Los Angeles. Thereafter, his participation in 
local affairs was such that, very properly, one of our avenues 
is named after him. Dr. Richard S. Den antedated all of these 

io8 Sixty Years in Southern California [1853- 

gentlemen, having resided and practiced medicine in Los 
Angeles in 1843, 1844 and again in the early fifties, though he 
did not dwell in this city permanently until January, 1866. 
Den I knew fairly well, and Griffin was m}^ esteemed physician 
and friend. Foster and Grifhn were practitioners whom I best 
recall as being here during my first years, one or two others, as 
Dr. Osburn and Dr. Winston, having already begun to devote 
their time to other enterprises. 

Dr. Richard S. Den, an Irishman of culture and refinement, 
having been for awhile with his brother, Nicholas Den, in 
Santa Barbara, returned to Los Angeles in 185 1. I say, "re- 
turned," because Den had looked in on the little pueblo before 
I had even heard its name. While in the former place, in the 
winter of 1843-44, Den received a call from Los Angeles to 
perform one or two surgical operations, and here he practiced 
until drawn to the mines by the gold excitement. He served, 
in 1846-47, as Chief Physician and Surgeon of the Mexican 
forces during the Mexican War, and treated, among others, the 
famous American Consul Larkin, whose surety he became when 
Larkin was removed to better quarters in the home of Louis 
Vignes. Den had only indifferent luck as a miner, but was soon 
in such demand to relieve the sufferers from malaria that it is 
said he received as much as a thousand dollars in a day for 
his practice. In 1854, he returned to Santa Barbara County, 
remaining there for several years and suffering great loss, on 
account of the drought and its effects on his cattle. Nicholas 
Den, who was also known in Los Angeles, and was esteemed for 
both his integrity and his hospitality, died at Santa Barbara in 

Old Dr. Den will be remembered, not only with esteem, but 
with affection. He was seldom seen except on horseback, in 
which fashion he visited his patients, and was, all in all, some- 
what a man of mystery. He rode a magnificent coal-black 
charger, and was himself always dressed in black. He wore, 
too, a black felt hat; and beneath the hat there clustered a 
mass of wavy hair as white as snow. In addition to all 
this, his standing collar was so high that he was compelled 

i854] Round About the Plaza 109 

to hold his head erect; and as if to offset the immaculate linen, 
he tied around the collar a large black-silk scarf. Thus attired 
and seated on his richly-caparisoned horse, Dr. Den appeared 
always dignified, and even imposing. One may therefore 
easily picture him a friendly rival with Don Juan Bandini at 
the early Spanish balls, as he was on intimate terms with 
Don and Dona Abel Stearns, acknowledged social leaders. Dr. 
Den was fond of horse-racing and had his own favorite race- 
horses sent here from Santa Barbara, where they were bred. 

Dr. Osburn, the Postmaster of 1853, had two years before 
installed a small variety of drugs on a few shelves, referred to 
by the complimentary term of drug store. Dr. Winston also 
kept a stock of drugs. About the same time, and before Dr. 
A. W. Hope opened the third drug store in September, 1854, 
John Gately Downey, an Irishman by birth, who had been 
apprenticed to the drug trade in Maryland and Ohio, formed 
a partnership with James P. McFarland, a native of Tennessee, 
buying some of Winston's stock. Their store was a long, one- 
story adobe on the northwest corner of Los Angeles and Com- 
mercial streets, and was known as McFarland & Downey's. 
The former had been a gold-miner ; and this experience intensi- 
fied the impression of an already rugged physique as a frontier 
type. Entering politics, as Osburn and practically every other 
professional man then did — doubtless as much as anything 
else for the assurance of some definite income — McFarland 
secured a seat in the Assembly in 1852, and in the Senate in 
1853-54. About 1858, he returned to Tennessee and in 
December, i860, revisited California; after which he settled 
permanently in the East. Downey, in 1859, having been 
elected Lieutenant-Governor, was later made Governor, 
through the election of Latham to the United States Senate; 
but his suddenly-revealed sympathies with the Secessionists, 
together with his advocacy of a bill for the apprenticing of 
Indians, contributed toward killing him politically and he 
retired to private life. Dr. H. R. Myles, destined to meet with 
a tragic death in a steamboat disaster which I shall narrate, 
was another druggist, with a partner, Dr. J. C. Welch, a South 

no Sixty Years in Southern California [1853- 

Carolinian dentist who came here in the early fifties and died 
in August, 1869. Their drug store on Main Street, nearly- 
opposite the Bella Union, filled the prescriptions of the city's 
seven or eight doctors. Considerably later, but still among the 
pioneer druggists, was Dr. V. Gelcich, who came here as Surgeon 
to the Fourth California Infantry. 

Speaking of druggists, it may be interesting to add that 
medicines were administered in earlier days to a much greater 
extent than now. For every little ailment there was a pill, a 
powder or some other nostrum. The early botica, or drug 
store, kept only drugs and things incidental to the drug business. 
There was also more of home treatment than now. Every 
mother did more or less doctoring on her own account, and had 
her well-stocked medicine-chest. Castor oil, ipecac, black 
draught and calomel were generally among the domestic supply. 

The practice of surgery was also very primitive ; and he was 
unfortunate, indeed, who required such service. Operations 
had to be performed at home; there were few or none of the 
modern scientific appliances or devices for either rendering the 
patient immune or contending with active disease. 

Preceded by a brother. Colonel James C. Foy — who visited 
California in 1850 and was killed in 1864, while in Sherman's 
army, by the bursting of a shell — Samuel C. Foy started for San 
Francisco, by way of New Orleans and the Isthmus, when he was 
but twenty- two years old and, allured by the gold-fever, 
wasted a year or two in the mines. In January, 1854, he made 
his way south to Los Angeles ; and seeing the prospect for trade 
in harness, on February 19th of that year opened an American 
saddlery, in which business he was joined by his brother, John 
M. Foy. Their store was on Main Street, between Commercial 
and Requena. The location was one of the best; and the Foy 
Brothers offering, besides saddlery, such necessities of the 
times as tents, enjoyed one of the first chances to sell to passing 
emigrants and neighboring rancheros, as they came into town. 
Some spurs, exhibited in the County Museum, are a souvenir 
of Foy's enterprise in those pioneer days. In May, 1856, Sam 
Foy began operating in cattle and continued in that business 

1854] Round About the Plaza 11 1 

until 1865, periodically taking herds north and leaving his 
brother in charge of the store. 

In the course of time, the Foys moved to Los Angeles Street, 
becoming my neighbors; and while there, in 1882, S. C. Foy, in 
a quaint advertisement embellished with a blanketed horse, 
announced his establishment as the "oldest business house in 
Los Angeles, still at the old stand, 17 Los Angeles Street, next 
to H. Newmark & Company's." John Foy, who later removed 
to vSan Bernardino, died many years ago, and Sam Foy also has 
long since joined the silent majority; but one of the old signs of 
the saddlery is still to be seen on Los Angeles Street, where 
the son, James Calvert Foy, conducts the business. The Foys 
first lived on Los Angeles Street, and then on Main. Some 
years later, they moved to the corner of Seventh and Pearl 
streets, now called Figueroa, and came to control much val- 
uable land there, still in possession of the family. A daughter 
of Samuel C. Foy is Miss Mary Foy, formerly a teacher and 
later Public Librarian. Another daughter married Thomas 
Lee Woolwine, the attorney. 

Wells Fargo & Company — formerly always styled Wells, 
Fargo & Company — were early in the field here. On March 
28th, 1854, they were advertising, through H. R. Myles, their 
agent, that they were a joint stock company with a capital 
of five hundred thousand dollars ! 




ANY of the houses, as I have related, were clustered 
around and north of the Plaza Church, while the hills 
surrounding the pueblo to the West were almost bare. 
These same hills have since been subdivided and graded to 
accommodate the Westlake, the Wilshire, the West Temple 
and other sections. Main and Spring streets were laid out 
beyond First, but they were very sparsely settled; while to the 
East of Main and extending up to that street, there were many 
large vineyards without a single break as far south as the 
Ninth Street of to-day, unless we except a narrow and short 
lane there. To enable the reader to form an accurate impression 
of the time spent in getting to a nearby point, I will add that, to 
reach William Wolfskin's home, which was in the neighborhood 
of the present Arcade Depot, one was obliged to travel down 
to AHso Street, thence to Alameda, and then south on Alameda 
to Wolfskin's orchard. From Spring Street, west and as far 
as the coast, there was one huge field, practically unimproved 
and undeveloped, the swamp lands of which were covered with 
tules. All of this land, from the heart of the present retail 
district to the city limits, belonged to the municipality. I 
incline to the opinion that both Ord and Hancock had 
already surveyed in this southwestern district; but through 
there, nevertheless, no single street had as yet been cut. 

Not merely at the Plaza, but throughout Los Angeles, most 

Jacob Rich 

J. P. Newmark 

From a vignette of the sixties 

O. W. Childs 

John O. Wheeler 

Benjamin D. Wilson 

George Hansen 

Dr. Obed Macy 

Samuel C. Foy 

[j854] Familiar Home-Scenes 113 

of the houses were built of adobe, or mud mixed with straw and 
dried for months in the sun ; and several fine dwellings of this 
kind were constructed after' I came. The composition was 
of such a nature that, unless protected by roofs and verandas, ^ 
the mud would slowly wash away. The walls, however, also re- 
quiring months in which to dry, were generally three or four 
feet thick; and to this as well as to the nature of the material 
may be attributed the fact that the houses in the summer 
season were cool and comfortable, while in winter they were 
warm and cheerful. They were usually rectangular in shape, 
and were invariably provided with patios and corridors. There 
was no such thing as a basement under a house, and floors were 
frequently earthen. Conventionality prescribed no limit as to 
the number of rooms, an adobe frequently having a sitting- 
room, a dining-room, a kitchen and as many bedrooms as were 
required; but there were few, if any, "frills" for the mere sake 
of style. Most adobes were but one story in height, although 
there were a few two-story houses ; and it is my recollection that, 
in such cases, the second story was reached from the outside. 
Everything about an adobe was emblematic of hospitality: 
the doors, heavy and often apparently home-made, were 
wide, and the windows were deep. In private houses, the 
doors were locked with a key; but in some of the stores, they 
were fastened with a bolt fitted into iron receptacles on either 
side. The windows, swinging on hinges, opened inward and 
were locked in the center. There were few curtains or blinds; 
wooden shutters, an inch thick, also fastening in the center, 
being generally used instead. If there were such conveniences 
as hearths and fireplaces, I cannot recollect them, although I 
think that here and there the brasero, or pan and hot coals, was 
still employed. There were no chimneys, and the smoke, as 
from the kitchen stove, escaped through the regular stacks 
leading out through a pane in the window or a hole in the wall. 
The porches, also spoken of as verandas and rather wide, 
were supported by equidistant perpendicular posts ; and when 

' Verandas, spoken of locally as corridors; from which fact I may use both 
terms interchangeably. 

114 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

an adobe had two stories, the veranda was also double-storied. 
Few if any vines grew around these verandas in early days, 
largely because of the high cost of water. For the same reason, 
there were almost no gardens. 

The roofs which, as I have intimated, proved as necessary 
to preserve the adobe as to afford protection from the semi- 
tropical sun, were generally covered with asphalt and were 
usually fiat in order to keep the tar from running off. As well 
as I can recollect, Vicente Salsido — or Salcito, as his name 
was also written — who lived in or somewhere near Nigger 
Alley, was the only man then engaged in the business of 
mending pitch-roofs. When winter approached and the 
first rainfall produced leaks, there was a general demand 
for Salsido's services and a great scramble among owners 
of buildings to obtain them. Such was the need, in fact, 
that more than one family, drowned out while waiting, was 
compelled to move to the drier quarters of relatives or 
friends, there to stay until the roofer could attend to their 
own houses. Under a huge kettle, put up in the public 
street, Salsido set fire to some wood, threw in his pitch and 
melted it. Then, after he or a helper had climbed onto the 
roof, the molten pitch was hauled up in buckets and poured 
over the troublesome leaks. Much of this tar was im- 
ported from the North, but some was obtained in this locality, 
particularly from so-called springs on the Hancock ranch, which 
for a long time have furnished great quantities of the useful, if 
unattractive, substance. This asphalt was later used for side- 
walks, and even into the eighties was employed as fuel. To 
return to Salsido, I might add that in summer the pitch-roofer 
had no work at all. 

Besides the adobes with their asphalt roofs, some houses, 
erected within the first quarter of the Nineteenth Centtuy, 
were covered with tiles. The most notable tiled building was 
the old Church, whose roof was unfortunately removed when 
the edifice was so extensively renovated. The Carrillo home 
was topped with these ancient tiles, as were also Jose Maria 
Abila's residence; Vicente Sanchez's two-story adobe south of 

1854] Familiar Home-Scenes 115 

the Plaza, and the Alvarado house on First Street, between 
Main and Los Angeles streets. 

It was my impression that there were no bricks in Los 
Angeles when I first came, although about 1854 or 1855 Jacob 
Weixel had the first regular brickyard. In conversation with 
old-timers, however, many years ago, I was assured that Cap- 
tain Jesse Hunter, whom I recall, had built a kiln not far from 
the later site of the Potomac Block, on Fort Street, between 
Second and Third; and that, as early as 1853, he had put up a 
brick building on the west side of Main Street, about one 
hundred and fifty feet south of the present site of the Bullard 
Block. This was for Mayor Nichols, who paid Hunter thirty 
dollars a thousand for the new and more attractive kind of 
building material. This pioneer brick building has long since 
disappeared. Hunter seems to have come to Los Angeles 
alone, and to have been followed across the plains by his wife, 
two sons and three daughters, taking up his permanent resi- 
dence here in 1856. One of the daughters married a man 
named Burke, who conducted a blacksmith and wagon shop 
in Hunter's Building on Main Street. Hunter died in 1874. 
Dr. William A. Hammel, father of Sheriff William Hammel» 
who came to California during the gold excitement of '49, had 
one of the first red brick houses in Los Angeles, on San Pedro 
Street, between Second and Third. 

Sometime in 1853, or perhaps in 1854, the first building 
erected by the public in Los Angeles County was put together 
here of brick baked in the second kiln ever fired in the city. 
It was the Town Jail on the site of the present Phillips Block, ^ 
at the northwest corner of Spring and Franklin streets. This 
building took the place of the first County Jail, a rude adobe 
that stood on the hill back of the present National Government 
Building. In that jail, I have understood, there were no cells, 
and prisoners were fastened by chains to logs outside. 

Zanja water was being used for irrigation when I arrived. 
A system of seven or eight zanjas, or open ditches — originated, I 
have no doubt, by the Catholic Fathers — was then in operation, 

' Recently razed. 

ii6 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

although it was not placed under the supervision of a Zanjero, 
or Water Commissioner, until 1854. These small surface canals 
connected at the source with the zanja madre, or mother ditch, 
on the north side of the town, from which they received their 
supply; the zanja madre itself being fed from the river, at a 
point a long way from town. The Zanjero issued permits, for 
which application had to be made some days in advance, 
authorizing the use of the water for irrigation purposes. A 
certain amount was paid for the use of this water during 
a period of twelve hours, without any limit as to the quantity 
consumed, and the purchaser was permitted to draw his supply 
both day and night. 

Water for domestic uses was a still more expensive luxury. 
Inhabitants living in the immediate neighborhood of zavjas, or 
near the river, helped themselves; but their less-fortunate 
brethren were served by a carrier, who charged fifty cents a 
week for one bucket a day, while he did not deliver on Sunday 
at all. Extra requirements were met on the same basis; and 
in order to avoid an interruption in the supply, prompt settle- 
ment of the charge had to be made every Saturday evening. 
This character was known as Bill the Waterman. He was a tall 
American, about thirty or thirty-five years old; he had a mus- 
tache, wore long, rubber boots coming nearly to his waist, and 
presented the general appearance of a laboring man; and his 
somewhat rickety vehicle, drawn by two superannuated 
horses, slowly conveyed the man and his barrel of about sixty 
gallons capacity from house to house. He was a wise dispenser, 
and quite alert to each household's needs. 

Bill obtained his supply from the Los Angeles River, where 
at best it was none too clean, in part owing to the frequent 
passage of the river by man and beast. Animals of all kinds, 
including cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, mules and donkeys, 
crossed and recrossed the stream continually, so that the mud 
was incessantly stirred up, and the polluted product proved 
unpalatable and even, undoubtedly, unhealthful. To make 
matters worse, the river and the zanjas were the favorite 
bathing-places, all the urchins of the hamlet disporting them- 

i854l Familiar Home-Scenes 117 

selves there daily, while most of the adiilts, also, frequently 
immersed themselves. Both the yet unbridged stream and 
the zanjas, therefore, were repeatedly contaminated, although 
common sense should have protected the former to a greater or 
less extent ; while as to the latter there were ordinances drawn 
up by the Common Council of 1850 which prohibited the 
throwing of filth into fresh water designed for common use, 
and also forbade the washing of clothes on the zanja banks. 
This latter regulation was disobeyed by the native women, 
who continued to gather there, dip their soiled garments in 
the water, place them on stones and beat them with sticks, a 
method then popular for the extraction of dirt. 

Besides Bill the Waterman, Dan Schieck was a water-ven- 
der, but at a somewhat later date. Proceeding to the zanja 
in a curious old cart, he would draw the water he needed, fresh 
every morning, and make daily deliveries at customers' houses 
for a couple of dollars a month. Schieck forsook this business, 
however, and went into draying, making a specialty of meeting 
Banning's coaches and transferring the passengers to their 
several destinations. He was a frugal man, and accumulated 
enough to buy the southwest corner of Franklin and Spring 
streets. As a result, he left property of considerable value. 
He died about twenty-five years ago; Mrs. Schieck, who was a 
sister of John Frohling, died in 1874. 

Just one more reference to the drinking-water of that 
period. When delivered to the customer, it was emptied into 
ollas, or urn-shaped vessels, made from burned clay or terra 
cotta. Every family and every store was provided with at 
least one of these containers which, being slightly porous, pos- 
sessed the virtue (of particular value at a time when there was 
no ice) of keeping the water cool and refreshing. The olla com- 
monly in use had a capacity of four or five gallons, and was 
usually suspended from the ceiling of a porch or other con- 
venient place; while attached to this domestic reservoir, as a 
rule, was a long-handled dipper generally made from a gourd. 
Filters were not in use, in consequence of which fastidious 
people washed out their ollas very frequently. These wide- 

ii8 Sixty Years in Southern California I1854 

mouthed pots recall to me an appetizing Spanish dish, known 
as olla-podrida, a stew consisting of various spiced meats, 
chopped fine, and an equally varied assortment of vegetables, 
partaken of separately; all bringing to mind, perhaps, 
Thackeray's sentimental Ballad of Bouillabaisse. Considering 
these inconveniences, how surprising it is that the Common 
Council, in 1853, should have frowned upon Judge William 
G. Dryden's proposition to distribute, in pipes, all the water 
needed for domestic use. 

On May i6th, 1854, the first Masonic lodge — then and now 
known as 42 — received its charter, having worked under 
special dispensation, since the preceding December. The first 
officers chosen were: H. P. Dorsey, Master; J. Elias, Senior 
Warden; Thomas Foster, Junior Warden; James R. Barton, 
Treasiu-er; Timothy Foster, Secretary; Jacob Rich, Senior 
Deacon ; and W. A. Smith, Tyler. 

For about three decades after my arrival, smallpox epi- 
demics visited us somewhat regularly every other year, and the 
effect on the town was exceedingly bad. The whole population 
was on such a friendly footing that every death made a very 
great impression. The native element was always averse to 
vaccination and other sanitary measures; everybody objected 
to isolation, and disinfecting was unknown. In more than one 
familiar case, the surviving members of a stricken family went 
into the homes of their kinsmen, notwithstanding the danger 
of contagion. Is it any wonder, therefore, when such ignorance 
was universal, that the pest spread alarmingly and that the 
death-rate was high? 

The smallpox wagon, dubbed the Black Maria, was a 
frequent sight on the streets of Los Angeles during these 
sieges. There was an isolated pesthouse near the Chavez Ra- 
vine, but the patients of the better class were always treated 
at home, where the sanitation was never good; and at best the 
community was seriously exposed. Consternation seized the 
public mind, communication with the outside world was dis- 
turbed, and these epidemics were the invariable signal for 
business disorder and crises. 

1854] Familiar Home-Scenes 119 

This matter of primitive sanitation reminds me of an expe- 
rience. To accommodate an old iron bath-tub that I wished 
to set up in my Main Street home in the late sixties, I was 
obliged to select one of the bedrooms; since, when my adobe 
was built, the idea of having a separate bathroom in a house 
had never occurred to any owner. I connected it with the 
zanja at the rear of my lot by means of a wooden conduit ; which, 
although it did not join very closely, answered all purposes for 
the discharge of waste water. One of my children for several 
years slept in this combination bath- and bedroom ; and although 
the plumbing was as old-fashioned as it well could be, yet during 
all that time there was no sickness in our family. 

It was fortunate indeed that the adobe construction of the 
fifties rendered houses practically fireproof since, in the absence 
of a water-system, a bucket-brigade was all there was to fight 
a fire with, and this rendered but poor service. I remember 
such a brigade at work, some years after I came, in the vicinity 
of the Bell Block, when a chain of helpers formed a relay 
from the nearest zanja to the blazing structure. Buckets were 
passed briskly along, from person to person, as in the animated 
scene described by Schiller in the well-known lines of Das Lied 
von der Glocke : 

Durch der Hdnde lange Ketie 
Um die Wette 
Fliegt der Eimer;^ 

a process which was continued until the fire had exhausted 
itself. Francis Melius had a little hand-cart, but for lack of 
water it was generally useless. Instead of fire-bells announcing 
to the people that a conflagration was in progress, the discharg- 
ing of pistols in rapid succession gave the alarm and was the 
signal for a general fusillade throughout the neighboring streets. 
Indeed, this method of sounding a fire-alarm was used as late 

* Translated by Perry Worden for the centenary of The Song of the Bell : 

Through each hand close-joined and waiting, 


Flies the pail. 

120 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

as the eighties. On the breaking out of fires, neighbors and 
friends rushed to assist the victim in saving what they could 
of his property. 

On account of the inadequate facihties for extinguishing 
anything like a conflagration, it transpired that insurance 
companies would not for some time accept risks in Los Angeles. 
If I am not mistaken, S. Lazard obtained the first protection 
late in the fifties and paid a premium of four per cent. The 
policy was issued by the Hamburg-Bremen Company, through 
Adelsdorfer Brothers of San Francisco, who also imported 
foreign merchandise ; and Lazard, thereafter, as the Los Angeles 
agent for the Hamburg-Bremen Company, was the first 
insurance underwriter here of whom I have any knowledge. 
Adelsdorfer Brothers, it is also interesting to note, imported 
the first Swedish matches brought into California, perhaps hav- 
ing in mind cause and effect with profit at both ends ; they 
put them on the retail market in Los Angeles at twenty-five 
cents a package. 

This matter of fires calls to mind an interesting feature of 
the city when I first saw it. When Henry, or Enrique Dalton 
sailed from England, he shipped a couple of corrugated iron 
buildings, taking them to South America where he used them 
for several years. On coming to Los Angeles, he brought 
the buildings with him, and they were set up at the site of 
the present corner of Spring and Court streets. In a sense, 
therefore, these much- transported iron structures (one of which, 
in 1858, I rented as a storeroom for wool) came to be among 
the earliest "fire-proof" buildings here. 

As early as 1854, the need of better communication between 
Los Angeles and the outside world was beginning to be felt; 
and in the summer of that year the Supervisors— D. W. 
Alexander, S. C. Foster, J. Sepulveda, C. Aguilar and S. S. 
Thompson — voted to spend one thousand dollars to open a 
wagon road over the mountains between the San Fernando 
Mission and the San Francisco rancho. A rather broad trail 
already existed there; but such was its grade that many a 
pioneer, compelled to use a windlass or other contrivance to let 

1854] Familiar Home-Scenes 121 

down his wagon in safety, will never forget the real perils of the 
descent. For years it was a familiar experience with stages, on 
which I sometimes traveled, to attach chains or boards to retard 
their downward movement ; nor were passengers even then with- 
out anxiety until the hill- or mountain-side had been passed. 

During 1854, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Newmark and family, 
whom I had met, the year before, for a few hours in San Fran- 
cisco, arrived here and located in the one-story adobe owned 
by John Goll'er and adjoining his blacksmith shop. There were 
six children — Matilda, Myer J., Sarah, Edward, Caroline and 
Harriet — all of whom had been born in New York City. With 
their advent, my personal environment immediately changed: 
they provided me with a congenial home ; and as they at once 
began to take part in local social activities, I soon became well 
acquainted. My aunt took charge of my English education, 
and taught me to spell, read and write in that language; and I 
have always held her efforts in my behalf in grateful apprecia- 
tion. As a matter of fact, having so early been thrown into 
contact with Spanish-speaking neighbors and patrons, I learned 
Spanish before I acquired English. 

The Newmarks had left New York on December 15th, 1852, 
on the ship Carrington, T. B. French commanding, to make the 
trip around the Horn, San Francisco being their destination. 
After a voyage for the most part pleasant, although not alto- 
gether free from disagreeable features and marked by much 
rough weather, they reached the Golden Gate, having been 
four months and five days on the ocean. One of the enjoy- 
able incidents en route was an old-fashioned celebration in which 
Neptune took part when they crossed the equator. In a diary 
of that voyage kept by Myer J. Newmark, mention is made 
that "our Democratic President, Franklin Pierce, and Vice- 
President, William R. King, were inaugurated March 4th, 1853 ;" 
which reminds me that some forty years later Judge H. A. 
Pierce, the President's cousin, and his wife who was of literary 
proclivities, came to be my neighbors in Los Angeles. Mr. 
and Mrs. Newmark and their family remained in San Francisco 
until 1854. 

122 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

Joseph Newmark, formerly Neumark, born June 15th, 1 799, 
was, I assume, the first to adopt the English form of the name. 
He was genuinely religious and exalted in character. His wife, 
Rosa, whom he married in New York in 1835, was born in 
London on March 17th, 1808. He came to America in 1824, 
spent a few years in New York, and resided for a while in Somer- 
set, Connecticut, where, on January 21st, 1831, he joined the 
Masonic fraternity. During his first residence in New York, he 
started the Elm Street Synagogue, one of the earliest in America. 
In 1840, we find him in St. Louis, a pioneer indeed. Five years 
later he was in Dubuque, Iowa, then a frontier village. In 1846, 
he once more pitched his tent in New York; and during this 
sojourn he organized the Wooster Street Congregation. Im- 
mediately after reaching Los Angeles, he brought into 
existence the Los Angeles Hebrew Benevolent Society, which 
met for some time at his home on Sunday evenings, and which, 
I think, was the first charitable institution in this city. Its 
principal objects were to care for the sick, to pay proper re- 
spect, according to Jewish ritual, to the dead, and to look after 
the Jewish Cemetery which was laid out about that time; so 
that the Society at once became a real spiritual force and 
continued so for several years. The first President was Jacob 
Elias. Although Mr. Newmark had never served, as a salaried 
Rabbi, he had been ordained and was permitted to officiate; 
and one of the immediate results of his influence was the es- 
tablishment of worship on Jewish holidays, under the auspices 
of the Society named. The first service was held in the rear 
room of an adobe owned by John Temple. Joseph Newmark 
also inspired the purchase of land for the Jewish Cemetery. 
After Rabbi Edelman came, my uncle continued on various 
occasions to assist him. When, in course of time, the popula- 
tion of Los Angeles increased, the responsibilities of the He- 
brew Benevolent Society were extended. Although a Jewish 
organization, and none but Jews could become members of it 
or receive burial in the Jewish Cemetery, its aim was to give 
relief, as long as its financial condition would permit, to every 
worthy person that appeared, whoever he was or whatever his 

i854] Familiar Home-Scenes 123 

creed. Recalling this efficient organization, I may say that I 
believe myself to be one of but two survivors among the char- 
ter members — S. Lazard being the other. 

Kiln Messer was another pioneer who came around the 
Horn about that time, although he arrived here from Germany 
a year later than I did ; and during his voyage, he had a trying 
experience in a shipwreck off Cape Verde where, with his com- 
rades, he had to wait a couple of months before another vessel 
could be signaled. Even then he could get no farther toward 
his destination — the Golden Gate — than Rio de Janeiro, where 
he was delayed five or six months more. Finally reaching San 
Francisco, he took to mining; but, weakened by fever (an 
experience common among the gold-seekers) , he made his way 
to Los Angeles. After brewing beer for a while at the corner of 
Third and Main streets, Messer bought a twenty-acre vineyard 
which, in 1857, he increased by another purchase to forty-five 
or fifty acres; and it was his good fortune that this property 
was so located as to be needed by the Santa Fe Railroad, in 
1888, as a terminal. Toward the end of the seventies, Messer, 
moderately well-to-do, was a grocer at the corner of Rose and 
First streets; and about 1885, he retired. 

Joseph Newmark brought with him to Los Angeles a 
Chinese servant, to whom he paid one hundred dollars a month; 
and, as far as I know, this Mongolian was the first to come to 
our city. This domestic item has additional interest, perhaps, 
because it was but five or six years before that the first Chi- 
nese to emigrate from the Celestial Kingdom to California 
— two men and a lone woman- — had come to San Francisco 
in the ship Eagle from Hong Kong. A year later, there were 
half a hundred Chinamen in the territory, while at the end of 
still another year, during the gold excitement, nearly a thousand 
Chinese entered the Golden Gate. 

The housekeeping experiences of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph 
Newmark remind me that it was not easy in the early days to 
get satisfactory domestic service. Indians, negroes and some- 
times Mexicans were employed, until the arrival of more 
Chinese and the coming of white girls. Joseph Newmark, 

124 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

when I lived with his family, employed, in addition to the 
Chinaman, an Indian named Pedro who had come with his 
wife from Temecula and whose remuneration was fifty cents a 
day; and these servants attended to most of the household 
duties. The annual fiesta at Temecula used to attract Pedro 
and his better-half; and while they were absent, the Newmark 
girls did the work. 

My new home was very congenial, not the least of its attrac- 
tions being the family associations at meal-time. The oppor- 
tunities for obtaining a variety of food were not as good 
perhaps as they are to-day, and yet some delicacies were more 
in evidence. Among these I might mention wild game and 
chickens. Turkeys, of all poultry, were the scarcest and most- 
prized. All in all, our ordinary fare has not changed so much 
except an the use of mutton, certain vegetables, ice and a 
few dainties. 

There was no extravagance in the furnishing of pioneer 
homes. Few people coming to Los Angeles expected to locate 
permanently ; they usually planned to accumulate a small com- 
petency and then return to their native heaths. In conse- 
quence, little attention was paid to quality or styles, and it is 
hard to convey a comprehensive idea of the prevailing lack of 
ordinary comforts. For many years the inner walls of adobes 
were whitewashed — a method of mural finish not the most 
agreeable, since the coating so easily "came off;" and only in 
the later periods of frame houses, did we have kalsomined and 
hard-finished wall siu-faces. Just when papered and tinted 
walls came in, I do not remember; but they were long delayed. 
Furniture was plain and none too plentiful; and glassware 
and tableware were of an inferior grade. 

Certain vegetables were abundant, truck-gardening having 
been introduced here in the early fifties by Andrew Briswalter, an 
Alsatian by birth and an original character. He first operated 
on San Pedro Street, where he rented a tract of land and 
peddled his vegetables in a wheelbarrow, charging big prices. 
So quickly did he prosper that he was soon able to buy a piece 
of land, as well as a horse and wagon. When he died, in the 

1854] Familiar Home-Scenes 125 

eighties, he bequeathed a large estate, consisting of City and 
County acreage and lots, in the disposition of which he un- 
righteously cut off his only niece. Playa del Rey was later 
built on some of this land. Acres of fruit trees, fronting 
on Main, in the neighborhood of the present Ninth and 
Tenth streets, and extending far in an easterly direction, 
formed another part of his holding. It was on this land that 
Briswalter lived until his last illness. He bought this tract 
from O. W. Childs, it having originally belonged to H. C. 
Cardwell, a son-in-law of William Wolfskill — the same Card- 
well who introduced here, on January 7th, 1856, the heretofore 
unknown seedling strawberries. 

One Mumus was in the field nearly as soon as Briswalter. 
A few years later, Chinese vegetable men came to monopolize 
this trade. Most of their gardens neighbored on what is now 
Figueroa Street, north of Pico; and then, as now, they peddled 
their wares from wagons. Wild celery grew in quantities 
around the zanjas, but was not much liked. Cultivated celery, 
on the other hand, was in demand and was brought from the 
North, whence we also imported most of our cabbage, cauli- 
flower and asparagus. But after a while, the Chinese also culti- 
vated celery; and when, in the nineties, E. A. Curtis, D. E. 
Smeltzer and others failed in an effort to grow celery, Curtis 
fell back on the Chinese gardeners. The Orientals, though 
pestered by envious workmen, finally made a success of the 
industry, helping to establish what is now a most important 
local agricultural activity. 

These Chinese vegetable gardeners, by the way, came to 
practice a trick' designed to reduce their expenses, and at 
which they were sometimes caught. Having bargained with 
the authorities for a small quantity of water, they would cut 
the zanjas, while the Zanjero or his assistants slept, steal the 
additional water needed, and, before the arrival of the Zanjero 
at daybreak, close the openings ! 

' History repeats itself: in 1915, ranchers at Zelzah were accused of appro- 
priating water from the new aqueduct, under cover of the night, without paying 
for it. 

126 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

J. Wesley Potts was an early arrival, having tramped across 
the Plains all the way from Texas, in 1852, reaching Los Angeles 
in September. At first, he could obtain nothing to do but haul 
dirt in a hand-cart for the spasmodic patching-up of the streets ; 
but when he had earned five or six dollars in that way, he took 
to peddling fruit, first carrying it around in a basket. Then 
he had a fruit stand. Getting the gold-fever, however. Potts 
went to the mines ; but despairing at last of realizing anything 
there, he returned to Los Angeles and raised vegetables, in- 
troducing, among other things, the first locally-grown sweet 
potatoes put on the market — a stroke of enterprise recalling 
J. E. Pleasants's early venture in cultivating garden pease. 
Later he was widely known as a "weather prophet" — with 
predictions quite as likely to be worthless as to come true. 

The prickly pear, the fruit of the cactus, was common in 
early Los Angeles. It grew in profusion all over this Southern 
country, but particularly so around San Gabriel at which place 
it was found in almost obstructing quantities; and prickly 
pears bordered the gardens of the Round House where they were 
plucked by visitors. Ugly enough things to handle, they were, 
nevertheless, full of juice, and proved refreshing and palatable 
when properly peeled. Pomegranates and quinces were also 
numerous, but they were not cultivated for the trade. Syca- 
more and oak trees were seen here and there, while the willow 
was evident in almost jungle profuseness, especially around river 
banks and along the borders of lanes. Wild mustard charmingly 
variegated the landscape and chaparral obscured many of the 
hills and rising ground. In winter, the ground was thickly 
covered with burr-clover and the poetically-named alfilaria. 

Writing of vegetables and fruit, I naturally think of one of 
California's most popular products, the sandia or watermelon, 
and of its plenteousness in those more monotonous days when 
many and many a carreta load was brought to the indulging 
town. The melons were sold direct from the vehicles, as well as 
in stores, and the street seemed to be the principal place for the 
consumption of the luscious fruit. It was a very common sight 
to see Indians and others sitting along the roads, their faces 

1854] Familiar Home-Scenes 127 

buried in the green-pink depths. Some old-timers troubled 
with diseases of the kidney, believing that there was virtue in 
watermelon seeds, boiled them and used the tea medicinally. 

Fish, caught at San Pedro and peddled around town, was a 
favorite item of food during the cooler months of the year. 
The pescadero, or vender, used a loud fish horn, whose deep 
but not melodious tones announced to the expectant house- 
wife that he was at hand with a load of sea-food. Owing to 
the poorer facilities for catching them, only a few varieties of 
deep-water fish, such as barracuda, yellowtail and rockfish 
were sold. 

Somewhere I have seen it stated that, in 1854, O. W. Childs 
brought the first hive of bees from San Francisco at a cost of 
one hundred and fifty dollars ; but as nearly as I can recollect, 
a man named Logan owned the first beehives and was, there- 
fore, the pioneer honey-producer. I remember paying him 
three dollars for a three-pound box of comb-honey, but I have 
forgotten the date of the transaction. In i860, Cyrus Burdick 
purchased several swarms of bees and had no difficulty in 
selling the honey at one dollar a pound. By the fall of 1861, 
the bee industry had so expanded that Perry & Woodworth, 
as I have stated, devoted part of their time to the making of 
beehives. J. E. Pleasants, of Santiago Canon, known also for 
his Cashmere goats, was another pioneer bee-man and received 
a gold medal for his exhibit at the New Orleans Exposition. 




IN June, 1854, "^y brother sold out, and I determined to 
establish myself in business and thus become my own 
master. My lack of knowledge of English was some- 
what of a handicap; but youth and energy were in my favor, 
and an eager desire to succeed overcame all obstacles. Upon 
computing my worldly possessions, I found that I had saved 
nearly two hundred and forty dollars, the sum total of my eight 
months' wages; and this sum I invested in my first venture. 
My brother, J. P. Newmark, opened a credit for me, which 
contributed materially to my success ; and I rented the store 
on the north side of Commercial Street, about one hundred 
feet west of Los Angeles, owned by Mateo Keller and just 
vacated by Prudent Beaudry. Little did I think, in so doing, 
that, twelve years later, some Nemesis would cause Beaudry 
to sell out to me. I fully realized the importance of suc- 
ceeding in my initial effort, and this requited me for seven 
months of sacrifices, until January ist, 1855, when I took an 
inventory and found a net profit of fifteen hundred dollars. 
To give some idea of what was then required to attain such 
success, I may say that, having no assistance at all, I was abso- 
lutely a prisoner from early morning until late in the evening 
— the usual hour of closing, as I have elsewhere explained, 
being eight o'clock. From sweeping out to keeping books, I 
attended to all my own work ; and since I neither wished to go 
out and lock up nor leave my stock long unprotected, I remained 


Myer J. and Harris Newmark 

From a Daguerreotype 

George Carson 

John G. Nichols 

David W. Alexander 

Thomas E. Rowan 

Matthew Keller 

Samuel Meyer 

[i854] Early Social Life 129 

on guard all day, giving the closest possible attention to my 
little store. 

Business conditions in the fifties were necessarily very 
different from what they are to-day. There was no bank in 
Los Angeles for some years, although Downey and one or two 
others may have had some kind of a safe. People generally 
hoarded their cash in deep, narrow buckskin bags, hiding it 
behind merchandise on the shelves until the departure of a 
steamer for San Francisco, or turning it into such vouchers as 
were negotiable and could be obtained here. John Temple, 
who had a ranch or two in the North (from which he sent cattle 
to his agent in San Francisco) , generally had a large reserve of 
cash to his credit with butchers or bankers in the Northern city, 
and he was thus able to issue drafts against his balances there ; 
being glad enough to make the exchange, free of cost. When, 
however, Temple had exhausted his cash, the would-be remitter 
was compelled to send the coin itself by express. He would 
then take the specie to the company's agent; and the latter, 
in his presence, would do it up in a sealed package and charge 
one dollar a hundred for safe transmission. No wonder, there- 
fore, that people found expressing coin somewhat expensive, 
and were more partial to the other method. 

In the beginning of the fifties, too, silver was irregular in 
supply. Nevada's treasures still lay undiscovered within the 
bowels of the earth, and much foreign coin was in use here, 
leading the shrewdest operators to import silver money from 
France, Spain, Mexico and other countries. The size of coins, 
rather than their intrinsic value, was then the standard. For 
example, a five-franc piece, a Mexican dollar or a coin of simi- 
lar size from any other country passed for a dollar here ; while 
a Mexican twenty-five-cent piece, worth but fourteen cents, 
was accepted for an American quarter, so that these importers 
did a " land-office " business. Half-dollars and their equiva- 
lents were very scarce; and these coins being in great demand 
among gamblers, it often happened that they would absorb the 
supply. This forced such a premium that eighteen dollars in 
silver would commonly bring twenty dollars in gold. 

130 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

Most of the output of the mines of Southern CaUfornia — 
then rated as the best dust — went to San Francisco assayers, 
who minted it into octagonal and round pieces known as slugs. 
Among those issuing privately-stamped coins were J. S. 
Ormsby (whose mark, J. S. 0., became familiar) and Augustus 
Humbert, both of whom circulated eight-cornered ingots; and 
Wass Molitor & Co., whose slugs were always round. Pieces 
of the value of from one to twenty-five dollars, and even minia- 
ture coins for fractional parts of a dollar, were also minted; 
while F. D. Kohler, the State Assayer, made an oblong ingot 
worth about fifty dollars. Some of the other important assay- 
ing concerns were Moffatt & Co., Kellogg & Co. and Templeton 
Reid. Baldwin & Co. was another firm which issued coins of 
smaller denomination; and to this firm belonged David Colbert 
Broderick, who was killed by Terry. 

Usurers were here from the beginning, and their tax was 
often ruinously exorbitant. So much did they charge for money, 
in fact, that from two to twelve and a half per cent, a week was 
paid; this brought about the loss of many early estates. I rec- 
ollect, for example, that the owner of several thousand acres of 
land borrowed two hundred dollars, at an interest charge of 
twelve and a half per cent, for each week, from a resident 
of Los Angeles whose family is still prominent in California; 
and that when principal and interest amounted to twenty-two 
thousand dollars, the lender foreclosed and thus ingloriously 
came into possession of a magnificent property. 

For at least twenty years after I arrived in Los Angeles, the 
credit system was so irregular as to be no system at all. Land 
and other values were exceedingly low, there was not much 
ready money, and while the credit of a large rancher was small 
compared with what his rating would be to-day because of the 
tremendous advances in land and stock, much longer time was 
then given on running accounts than would be allowed now. 
Bills were generally settled after the harvest. The wine-grower 
would pay his score when the grape crop was sold; and the 
cattleman would liquidate what he could when he sold his 
cattle. In other words, there was no credit foundation what- 

1854] Early Social Life 131 

ever; indeed, I have known accounts to be carried through 
three and four dry seasons. 

It is true, also, that many a fine property was lost through 
the mania of the Californian for gambling, and it might be 
just as well to add that the loose credit system ruined many. 
I believe, in fact, it is generally recognized in certain lines of 
business that the too flexible local fiscal practice of to-day is the 
descendant of the careless methods of the past. 

My early experiences as a merchant afforded me a good 
opportunity to observe the character and peculiarities of the 
people with whom I had to deal. In those days a disposition to 
steal was a common weakness on the part of many, especially 
Indians, and merchants generally suffered so much from the 
evil that a sharp lookout had to be kept. On one occasion, I 
saw a native woman deftly abstract a pair of shoes and cleverly 
secrete them on her person; and at the conclusion of her pur- 
chases, as she was about to leave the store, I stepped up to her, 
and with a " /Dispense me Vd.!" quietly recovered the zapatos. 
The woman smiled, each of us bowed, the pilfering patron 
departed, and nothing further was ever said of the affair. 

This proneness to steal was frequently utilized by early and 
astute traders, who kept on hand a stock of very cheap but 
gaudy jewelry which was placed on the counter within easy 
reach — -a device which prevented the filching of more valuable 
articles, while it attracted, at the same time, this class of cus- 
tomers ; and as soon as the esteemed customers ceased to buy, 
the trays of tempting trinkets were removed. 

Shyness of the truth was another characteristic of many a 
native that often had to be reckoned with by merchants wishing 
to accommodate, as far as possible, while avoiding loss. 
One day in 1854, ^ middle-aged Indian related to me that 
his mother (who was living half a block north on Main 
Street, and was between eighty and ninety years of age) 
had suddenly died, and that he would like some candles, for 
which he was unable to pay, to place around the bed holding 
the remains of the departed. I could not refuse this filial 
request, and straightway gave him the wax tapers which were 

132 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

to be used for so holy a purpose. The following day, however, 
I met the old woman on the street and she was as lively a 
corpse as one might ever expect to see ; leaving me to conclude 
that she was lighted to her room, the previous night, by one of 
the very candles supposed to be then lighting her to eternity. 

The fact that I used to order straw hats which came tele- 
scoped in dozens and were of the same pattern (in the crown 
of one of which, at the top, I found one morning a litter of 
kittens tenderly deposited there by the store cat), recalls an 
amusing incident showing the modesty of the times, at least 
in the style of ladies' bonnets. S. Lazard & Company once 
made an importation of Leghorn hats which, when they arrived, 
were found to be all trimmed alike — a bit of ribbon and a little 
bunch of artificial flowers in front being their only ornamenta- 
tion! Practically, all the fair damsels and matrons of the 
town were limited, for the season, to this supply — a fact that 
was patent enough, a few days later, at a picnic held at 
Sainsevain's favorite vineyard and well patronized by the 
feminine leaders in our little world. 

But to return to one or two pioneers. David Workman 
died soon after he came here, in 1854, with his wife whose 
maiden name was Nancy Hook. He was a brother of William 
Workman and followed him to Los Angeles, bringing his three 
sons, Thomas H. — killed in the explosion of the Ada Hancock — 
Elijah H. and William H., who was for a while a printer and 
later in partnership with his brother in the saddlery business. 
Elijah once owned a tract of land stretching from what is now 
IMain to Hill streets and around Twelfth. Workman Street is 
named after this family. 

Henry Melius, brother of Francis Melius, to whom I else- 
where more fully refer, who had returned to New England, 
was among us again in 1854. Whether this was the occa- 
sion of Mellus's unfortunate investment, or not, I cannot say; 
but on one of his trips to the East, he lost a quarter of a 
million through an unlucky investment in iron. 

Jean B. Trudell (a nephew of Damien Marchessault and a 
cousin of P. Beaudry), for a short time in partnership with 

1854] Early Social Life 133 

S. Lazard, was an old-timer who married Anita, the widow of 
Henry Melius ; and through this union a large family resulted. 
He conducted salt works, from which he supplied the town with 
all grades of cheap salt ; and he stood well in the community. 
Mrs. Trudell took care of her aunt, Mrs. Bell, during her later 

With the growth of our little town, newspapers increased, 
even though they did not exactly prosper. On the 20th of 
July, 1854, ^- N. Richards & Company started the Southern 
Calijornian, a name no doubt suggested by that of the San 
Francisco journal, with William Butts as editor; and on Novem- 
ber 2d, Colonel John O. Wheeler joined Butts and bought out 
Richards & Company. Their paper was printed in one of Dal- 
ton's corrugated iron houses. The Southern Calijornian was a 
four-page weekly, on one side of which news, editorials and 
advertisements, often mere translations of matter in the other 
columns, were published in Spanish. One result of the appear- 
ance of this paper was that Waite & Company, a month or so 
later, reduced the subscription price of the Star — their new rate 
being nine dollars a year, or six dollars in advance. 

In 1853, a number of Spanish- American restaurant keepers 
plied their vocation, so that Mexican and Spanish cooking were 
always obtainable. Then came the cafeteria, but the term was 
used with a different significance from that now in vogue. It 
was rather a place for drinking than for eating, and in this re- 
spect the name had little of the meaning current in parts of 
Mexico to-day, where a cafeteria is a small restaurant serving 
ordinary alcoholic drinks and plain meals. Nor was the insti- 
tution the same as that familiarly known in Pacific Coast 
towns, and particularly in Los Angeles — one of the first American 
cities to experiment with this departure ; where a considerable 
variety of food (mostly cooked and warm) is displayed to view, 
and the prospective diner, having secured his tray and napkin, 
knife, fork and spoons, indicates his choice as he passes by the 
steam-heated tables and is helped to whatever he selects, and 
then carries both service and viands to a small table. 

The native population followed their own cuisine, and the 

134 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

visitor to Spanish- American homes naturally partook of native 
food. All the Mexican dishes that are common now, such as 
tamales, enchiladas and frijoles, were favorite dishes then. 
There were many saloons in Sonora Town and elsewhere, and 
mescal and aguardiente, popular drinks with the Mexicans, were 
also indulged in by the first white settlers. Although there 
were imported wines, the wine-drinkers generally patronized 
the local product. This was a very cheap article, costing about 
fifteen cents a gallon, and was usually supplied with meals, 
without extra charge. Tamales in particular were very popular 
with the Californians, but it took some time for the incoming 
epicure to appreciate all that was claimed for them and other 
masterpieces of Mexican cooking. 

The tortilla was another favorite, being a generous-sized 
maize cake, round and rather thin, in the early preparation of 
which the grain was softened, cleaned and parboiled, after 
which it was rolled and crushed between two pieces of flat stone. 
Deft hands then worked the product into a pancake, which was 
placed, sometimes on a piece of stoneware, sometimes on a 
plate of iron, and baked, first on one side and then on the other. 
A part of the trick in /or/zV/a -baking consisted in its delicate 
toasting; and when just the right degree of parching had been 
reached, the crisp, tasty tortilla was ready to maintain its 
position even against more pretentious members of the pan- 
cake family. 

Pan de huevos, or bread of eggs, was peddled around town 
on little trays by Alexican women and, when well-prepared, 
was very palatable. Panocha, a dark Mexican sugar made into 
cakes, was also vended by native women. Pinole was brought 
in by Indians; and as far as I can remember, it could not have 
had a very exact meaning, since I have heard the term ap- 
plied both to ground pinenuts and ground corn, and it may 
also have been used to mean other food prepared in the same 
manner. Be this as it may, the value to the Indian came from 
the fact that, when mixed with water, pinole proved a cheap, 
but nutritious article of diet. 

I have told of the old-fashioned, comfortable adobes, broad 

i854] Early Social Life 135 

and liberal, whose halls, rooms, verandas and patios bespoke 
at least comfort if not elaborateness. Among the old Califor- 
nia families dwelling within these houses, there was much 
visiting and entertainment, and I often partook of this prover- 
bial and princely hospitality. There was also much merry- 
making, the firing of crackers, bell-ringing and dancing the 
fandango, jota and cachucha marking their jolly and whole- 
souled j^^jto^. Only for the first few years after I came was the 
real fandango — so popular when Dana visited Los Angeles 
and first saw Don Juan Bandini execute the dance — witnessed 
here; little by little it went out of fashion, perhaps in part 
because of the skill required for its performance. Balls and 
hops, however, for a long time were carelessly called by that 
name. When the fandango really was in vogue, Bandini, Antonio 
Coronel, Andres Pico, the Lugos and other native Calif ornians 
were among its most noted exponents; they often hired a hall, 
gave 2i fandango in which they did not hesitate to take the lead- 
ing parts, and turned the whole proceeds over to some church or 
charity. On such occasions not merely the plain people 
(always so responsive to music and its accompanying pleasures) 
were the fandangueros, but the flower of our local society turned 
out en masse, adding to the affair a high degree of eclat. There 
was no end, too, of good things to eat and drink, which people 
managed somehow to pass around; and the enjoyment was 
not lessened by the fact that every such dance hall was crowded 
to the walls, and that the atmosphere, relieved by but a narrow 
door and window or two, was literally thick with both dust and 

Still living are some who have memories of these old fan- 
dango days and the journeys taken from suburb to town in 
order to participate in them. Dona Petra Pilar Lanfranco used 
to tell me how, as a young girl, she came up from the old Palos 
Verdes ranch house in a carreta and was always chaperoned 
by a lady relative. On such occasions, the carreta would be 
provided with mattresses, pillows and covers, while at the 
end, well strapped, was the trunk containing the finery to be 
worn at the ball. To reach town even from a point that would 

136 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

now be regarded as near, a start was generally made by four 
o'clock in the morning; and it often took until late the same 
evening to arrive at the Bella Union, where final preparations 
were made. 

One of the pleasant f eatiires of a fandango or hop was the 
use of cascarones, or egg-shells, filled with one thing or another, 
agreeable when scattered, and for the time being sealed up. 
These shells were generally painted; and most often they 
contained many-colored pieces of paper, or the tinsel, oropel, 
cut up very fine. Not infrequently the shell of the egg was 
filled with perfume ; and in the days when Calif ornians were 
flush, gold leaf or even gold dust was sometimes thus inclosed, 
with a wafer, and kept for the casamiento, when it would be 
showered upon the fortunate bride. The greatest compli- 
ment that a gentleman could pay a lady was to break one of 
these cascarones over her head, and often the compliment 
would be returned; the floor, at the termination of such 
festivities, being literally covered with the bits of paper and 
egg-shell. When the fandango was on in all its mad delight, 
a gentleman would approach a lady to salute her, upon which 
she would bow her head slightly and permit him, while he 
gently squeezed the egg-shell, to let its contents fall grace- 
fully over her head, neck and shoulders; and very often she 
would cleverly choose the right moment — perhaps when he 
was not looking — to politely reciprocate the courtesy, under 
which circumstances he was in duty bound to detect, if he 
could, among the smiling, blushing ladies, the one who had 
ventured so agreeably to offend. Such was the courtliness, in 
fact, among the native population that even at fandangos, in 
which the public participated and the compliment of the 
cascaron was almost universally observed, there was seldom a 
violation of regard for another's feelings. When such rowdyism 
did occur, however (prompted perhaps by jealousy), and bad 
eggs or that which was even less aromatic, were substituted, 
serious trouble ensued; and one or two fatalities are on record 
as growing out of such senseless acts. Speaking oi fandangos y 
it may be aded that in January, 1861, the Common Council of 

i8s4] Early Social Life 137 

Los Angeles passed an ordinance requiring the payment in 
advance of ten dollars for a one-night license to hold any- 
public dance within the city limits. 

The pueblo was so small in the fifties, and the number of 
white people so limited that, whenever a newcomer arrived, it 
caused considerable general excitement; and when it infre- 
quently happened that persons of note came for even a single 
night, a deputation of prominent citizens made their short stay 
both noisy with cannonading and tiresome with spread-eagle 

A very important individual in early days was Peter Biggs, 
or Nigger Pete, a pioneer barber who came here in 1852, having 
previously been sold as a slave to an officer at Fort Leaven- 
worth and freed, in California, at the close of the Mexican War. 
He was a black-haired, good-natured man, then about forty 
years of age, and had a shop on Main Street, near the Bella 
Union. He was, indeed, the only barber in town who catered 
to Americans, and while by no means of the highest tonsorial 
capacity, was sufficiently appreciative of his monopoly to 
charge fifty cents for shaving and seventy-five cents for hair- 
cutting. When, however, a Frenchman named Felix Signoret 
(whose daughter married Ed. McGinnis, the high-toned saloon 
keeper) appeared, some years later — a barber by trade, of 
whom we shall hear more later — it was not long before Pete 
was seriously embarrassed, being compelled, first to reduce 
his prices and then to look for more humble work. In the 
early sixties, Pete was advertising as follows: 

Opposite Mellus' Store on Main Street. 

To Keep Pace with the Times 
Shaving 1 2jE^c. 

Hair-cutting 25c. 
Shampoowing 25c. 

Peter Biggs will always be on hand and ready to attend to all 
business in his line, such as cleaning and polishing the "under- 

138 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

standing" together with an IntelHgcnce Office and City Express. 
Also washing and ironing done with all neatness and despatch, at 
reasonable rates. 

Recalling Biggs and his barber shop, I may say that, in 
fitting up his place, he made little or no pretension. He had an 
old-fashioned, high-backed chair, but otherwise operated much 
as barbers do to-day. People sat around waiting their turn ; and 
as Biggs called " Next !" he sprinkled the last victim with Flor- 
ida water, applying to the hair at the same time his Bear Oil 
(sure to leave its mark on walls and pillows), after which, with 
a soiled towel he put on the finishing touch — for one towel in 
those days served many customers. But few patrons had 
their private cups. Biggs served only men and boys, as ladies 
dressed their own hair. To some extent, Biggs was a maker 
or, at least, a purveyor of wigs. 

Besides Peter Biggs, a number of colored people lived in 
Los Angeles at an early date — five of whom belonged to the 
Mexican Veterans — Bob Owens and his wife being among the 
most prominent. Owens — who came here from Texas in Decem- 
ber, 1853 — was known to his friends as Uncle Bob, while Mrs. 
Owens was called Aunt Winnie. The former at first did all 
kinds of odd jobs, later profiting through dealings with the 
Government; while his good wife washed clothes, in which 
capacity she worked from time to time for my family. They 
lived in San Pedro Street, and invested their savings in a lot 
extending from Spring to Fort streets, between Third and 
Fourth. Owens died in 1865. Their heirs are wealthy as a 
result of this investment; in fact, I should not be surprised if 
they are among the most prosperous negroes in America. 

Another colored man of the sixties was named Berry, though 
he was popularly known as Uncle George. He was indeed a 
local character, a kind of popinjay ; and when not busy with 
janitor or other all-around scrubwork, sported among the 
negroes as an ultra-fashionable. 

Elsewhere I have spoken of the versatility of Dr. William 
B. Osburn, who showed no little commendable enterprise. 

i854l Early Social Life 139 

In October, 1854, he shipped to an agricultural convention in 
Albany, New York, the first Los Angeles grapes ever sent to the 
East ; and the next year he imported roses, shrubbery and fruit 
trees from Rochester. 

On October 13th, 1854, a good-for-nothing gambler, Dave 
Brown — who had planned to rob John Temple on one of his 
business trips, but was thwarted because Temple changed his 
route — murdered a companion, Pinckney Clifford, in a livery 
stable at what was later to become the corner of Main and 
Court streets ; and next day the lawless act created such general 
indignation that vengeance on Brown would undoubtedly then 
and there have been wreaked had not Stephen C. Foster, who 
was Mayor, met the crowd of citizens and persuaded them 
quietly to disperse. In order to mollify the would-be Vigilantes, 
Foster promised that, if the case miscarried in the courts and 
Brown was not given his due, he would resign his office 
and would himself lead those who favored taking the law into 
their own hands; and as Foster had been a Lieutenant in the 
Rangers under Dr. Hope, showing himself to be a man of nerve, 
the crowd had confidence in him and went its way. 

On November 30th, Brown was tried in the District Court, 
and Judge Benjamin Hayes sentenced him to hang on January 
1 2th, 1855 — the same date on which FeHpe Alvitre, a half-breed 
Indian, was to pay the penalty for killing James Ellington at 
El Monte. Brown's counsel were J. R. Scott, Cameron E, 
Thom and J. A. Watson; and these attorneys worked so hard 
and so effectively for their client that on January loth, or two 
days before the date set for the execution. Judge Murray of the 
Supreme Court granted Brown a stay, although apparently no 
relief was provided for Alvitre. The latter was hanged in 
the calaboose or jail yard, in the presence of a vast number of 
people, at the time appointed. Alvitre having been strung up 
by Sheriff Barton and his assistants, the rope broke, letting the 
wretch fall to the ground, more dead than alive. This bungling 
so infuriated the crowd that cries of "Arriba! Arriba!" (Up 
with him ! up with him !) rent the air. The executioners sprang 
forward, lifted the body, knotted the rope together and once 

140 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

more drew aloft the writhing form. Then the gallows was 
dismantled and the guards dismissed. 

The news that one execution had taken place, while the 
Court, in the other case, had interfered, was speedily known by 
the crowds in the streets and proved too much for the patience 
of the populace ; and only a leader or two were required to focus 
the indignation of the masses. That leader appeared in Foster 
who, true to his word, resigned from the office of Mayor 
and put himself at the head of the mob. Appeals, evoking 
loud applause, were made by one speaker after another, each 
in turn being lifted to the top of a barrel; and then the 
crowd began to surge toward the jail. Poles and crowbars 
were brought, and a blacksmith called for; and the prison 
doors, which had been locked, bolted and barred, were broken 
in, very soon convincing the Sheriff and his assistants — 
if any such conviction were needed — that it was useless to 
resist. In a few minutes. Brown was reached, dragged out 
and across Spring Street, and there hanged to the cross- 
beam of a corral gateway opposite the old jail, the noose 
being drawn tight while he was still attempting to address the 

When Brown was about to be disposed of, he was asked if 
he had anything to say; to which he replied that he had no 
objection to paying the penalty of his crime, but that he did 
take exception to a "lot of Greasers'' shuffling him off! Brown 
referred to the fact that Mexicans especially were conspicuous 
among those who had hold of the rope; and his coarsely-ex- 
pressed objection striking a humorous vein among the auditors, 
the order was given to indulge his fancy and accommodate him 
— whereupon, Americans strung him up ! One of those who had 
previously volunteered to act as hangman for Brown was Juan 
Gonzales; but within four months, that is, in May, 1855, 
Gonzales himself was sent to the penitentiary by Judge Myron 
Norton, convicted of horse-stealing. 

A rather amusing feature of this hanging was the manner in 
which the report of it was served up to the public. The lynch- 
ing-bee seemed likely to come off about three o'clock in the after- 

i854l Early Social Life 141 

noon, while the steamer for San Francisco was to leave at ten 
o'clock on the same morning; so that the schedules did not 
agree. A closer connection was undoubtedly possible — at least 
so thought Billy Workman, then a typo on the Southern Cali- 
fornian, who planned to print a full account of the execution 
in time to reach the steamer. So Billy sat down and wrote 
out every detail, even to the confession of the murderer on the 
improvised gallows ; and several hours before the tragic event 
actually took place, the wet news-sheet was aboard the vessel 
and on its way north. A few surplus copies gave the lynch- 
ers the unique opportunity, while watching the stringing- 
up, of comparing the written story with the affair as it actually 

While upon the subject of lynching, I wish to observe that 
I have witnessed many such distressing affairs in Los Angeles ; 
and that, though the penalty of hanging was sometimes too 
severe for the crime (and I have always deplored, as much as 
any of us ever did, the administration of mob-justice) yet the 
safety of the better classes in those troublous times often de-" 
manded quick and determined action, and stern necessity knew 
no law. And what is more, others besides myself who have also 
repeatedly faced dangers no longer common, agree with me in 
declaring, after half a century of observation and reflection, 
that milder courses than those of the vigilance committees of 
our young community could hardly have been followed with 
wisdom and safety. 

Wood was the only regular fuel for many years, and people 
were accustomed to buy it in quantities and to pile it care- 
fully in their yards. When it was more or less of a drug on the 
market, I paid as little as three dollars and a half a cord; in 
winter I had to pay more, but the price was never high. No tree 
was spared, and I have known magnificent oaks to be wanton- 
ly felled and used for fuel. Valuable timber was often destroyed 
by squatters guilty of a form of trespassing that gave much 
trouble, as I can testify from my own experience. 

Henry Dwight Barrows, who had been educated as a Yan- 
kee schoolmaster, arrived in Los Angeles in December, 1854, ^ 

142 Sixty Years in Southern California [1854 

private tutor to William Wolfskill. Other parts of Barrows's 
career were common to many pioneers : he was in business for a 
while in New York, caught the gold-fever, gave up everything 
to make the journey across the Isthmus of Panama, on which 
trip he was herded as one of seventeen hundred passengers on a 
rickety Coast vessel; and finally, after some unsuccessful ex- 
periences as a miner in Northern California, he made his way to 
the Southland to accept the proffered tutorship, hoping to be 
cured of the malarial fever which he had contracted during his 
adventures. Barrows taught here three years, returned East by 
steamer for a brief trip in 1857, and in 1859-60 tried his hand at 
cultivating grapes, in a vineyard owned by Prudent Beaudry. 
On November 14th, i860, Barrows was married to Wolfskill's 
daughter, Seiiorita Juana; and later he was County School 
Superintendent. In 1861 , President Lincoln appointed Barrows 
United States Marshal, the duties of which office he performed 
for four years. In 1864, having lost his wife he married the 
widow (formerly Miss Alice Woodworth) of Thomas Workman. 
The same year he formed a partnership with J. D. Hicks, 
under the firm name of J. D. Hicks & Company, and sold 
tin and hardware for twelve or fifteen years. In 1868, be- 
reaved of his second wife, Barrows married Miss Bessie Ann 
Greene, a native of New York. That year, too, he was joined 
by his brother, James Arnold Barrows, ' who came by way of 
Panam^ and bought thirty-five acres of land afterward obtained 
by the University of Southern California. About 1874, Bar- 
rows was manufacturing pipe. For years he dwelt with his 
daughter, Mrs. R. G. Weyse, contributing now and then to the 
activities of the Historical Society, and taking a keen interest^ 
in Los Angeles affairs. 

About 1854 or 1855, I- ^-1 Samuel and Herman (who must 
not be confused with H. W.) Hellman, arrived here, I. M. pre- 
ceding his brothers by a short period. In time, I. M. Hellman, 
in San Francisco, married Miss Caroline Adler; and in 1862 
her sister, Miss Adelaide, came south on a visit and married 

'Died, June 9th, 1914. 
'Died, August 7th, 1914. 

1854] Early Social Life 143 

Samuel Hellman. One of the children of this union is Maurice 
S. Hellman, who, for many years associated with Joseph F. 
Sartori, has occupied an important position in banking and 
financial circles. 

In 1854 or 1855, Bishop & Beale, a firm consisting of Samuel 
A. Bishop and E. F. Beale, became owners of an immense tract 
of Kern County land consisting of between two and three 
hundred thousand acres. This vast territory was given to 
them in payment for the work which they had done in surveying 
the Butterfield Route, later incorporated in the stage road 
connecting San Francisco with St. Louis. Recently I read an 
account of Beale's having been an Indian Agent at the Reserva- 
tion; but if he was, I have forgotten it. I remember Colonel 
James F. Vineyard, an Indian Agent and later Senator from 
Los Angeles; one of whose daughters was married, in 1862, 
to Congressman Charles De Long, of Nevada City, after- 
ward United States Minister to Japan, and another daughter 
to Dr. Hayes, of Los Angeles. 

Bishop, after a while, sold out his interest in the land 
and moved to San Jose, where he engaged in street-car opera- 
tions. He was married near San Gabriel to Miss Frances Young, 
and I officiated as one of the groomsmen at the wedding. After 
Bishop disposed of his share, Colonel R. S. Baker became 
interested, but whether or not he bought Bishop's interest at 
once, is not clear in my memory. It is worth noting that 
Bakersfield, which was part of this great ranch, took its name 
from Colonel Baker. Some time later. Baker sold out to Beale 
and then came South and purchased the San Vicente Ranch. 
This rancho comprised the whole Santa Monica district 
and consisted of thirty thousand acres, which Baker stocked 
with sheep. On a part of this land, the Soldiers' Home now 

Hilliard P. Dorsey, another typical Western character, 
was Register of the Land Office and a leading Mason of early 
days. He lived in Los Angeles in 1853, and I met him on the 
Goliah in October of that year, on the way south, after a brief 
visit to San Francisco, and while I was bound for my new 

144 Sixty Years in Southern California I1854 

home. We saw each other frequently after my arrival here; 
and I was soon on good terms with him. When I embarked 
in business on my own account, therefore, I solicited Dorsey's 

One day, Dorsey bought a suit of clothes from me on 
credit. A couple of months passed by, however, without any 
indication on his part that he intended to pay ; and as the sum 
involved meant much to me at that time, I was on the lookout 
for my somewhat careless debtor. In due season, catching 
sight of him on the other side of the street, I approached, in 
genuine American fashion, and unceremoniously asked him to 
liquidate his account. I had not then heard of the notches in 
Friend Dorsey's pistol, and was so unconscious of danger that 
my temerity seemed to impress him. I believe, in fact, that 
he must have found the experience novel. However that may 
be, the next day he called and paid his bill. 

In relating this circumstance to friends, I was enlightened 
as to Dorsey's peculiar propensities and convinced that youth 
and ignorance alone had saved me from disaster. In other 
words, he let me go, as it were, on probation. Dorsey himself 
was killed sometime later by his father-in-law, William Ru- 
bottom, who had come to El Monte with Ezekiel Rubottom, in 
1852 or 1853. After quarreling with Rubottom, Dorsey, who 
was not a bad fellow, but of a fiery temper, had entered 
the yard with a knife in his hand; and Rubottom had threat- 
ened to shoot him if he came any nearer. The son-in-law 
continued to advance; and Rubottom shot him dead. M. J. 
Newmark, Rubottom's attorney, who had been summoned to 
El Monte for consultation as to Dorsey's treatment of Rubot- 
tom's daughter, was present at the fatal moment and wit- 
nessed the shooting affray. 

Uncle Billy Rubottom, as he was familiarly called, came to 
Los Angeles County after losing heavily through the bursting 
of Yuba Dam and was one of the founders of Spadra. He 
named the settlement, laid out on a part of the San Jose rancho, 
after his home town, Spadra Bluffs in Arkansas, and opened a 
hotel which he made locally famous, during a decade and a 

i854l Early Social Life 145 

half, for barbecues and similar events, giving personal attention 
(usually while in shirt-sleeves) to his many guests. In his 
declining years. Uncle Billy lived with Kewen H. Dorsey, his 
grandson, who was also prominent in masonic circles. 




AS I have already related, I made fifteen hundred dollars 
in a few months, and in January, 1855, my brother 
advised me to form a partnership with men of maturer 
years. In this I acquiesced. He thereupon helped to organize 
the firm of Rich, Newmark & Company, consisting of Elias 
Laventhal (who reached here in 1854 and died on January 20th, 
1902), Jacob Rich and myself. Rich was to be the San Fran- 
cisco resident partner, while Laventhal and I undertook the 
management of the business in Los Angeles. We prospered from 
the beginning, deriving much benefit from our San Francisco 
representation which resulted in our building up something 
of a wholesale business. 

In the early fifties, Los Angeles was the meeting-place of a 
Board of Land Commissioners appointed by the National 
Government to settle land-claims and to prepare the way for 
that granting of patents to owners of Southern California 
ranches which later awakened from time to time such interest 
here. This interest was largely due to the fact that the Mexi- 
can authorities, in numerous instances, had made the same 
grant to different persons, often confusing matters badly. 
Cameron E. Thom, then Deputy Land Agent, took testi- 
mony for the Commissioners. In 1855, this Board com- 
pleted its labors. The members were Hiland Hall (later 
Governor of Vermont,) Harry I. Thornton and Thompson 
Campbell; and during the season they were here, these Land 


[iSss] The Rush for Gold 147 

Commissioners formed no unimportant part of the Los Angeles 
legal world. 

Thomas A. Delano, whose name is perpetuated in our local 
geography, was a sailor who came to Los Angeles on January 4th, 
1855, after which, for fifteen or sixteen years, he engaged in 
freighting. He married Senorita Soledad, daughter of John 
C. Vejar, the well-known Spanish Californian. 

Slowness and uncertainty of mail delivery in our first 
decades affected often vital interests, as is shown in the case of 
the half-breed Alvitre who, as I have said, was sentenced to be 
executed. One reason why the Vigilantes, headed by Mayor 
Foster, despatched Brown was the expectation that both he 
and Alvitre would get a stay from higher authority ; and sure 
enough, a stay was granted Alvitre, but the document was 
delayed in transit until the murderer, on January 12th, 1855, 
had forfeited his life! Curiously enough, another Alvitre — 
an aged Californian named Jose Claudio — also of El Monte, 
but six years later atrociously murdered his aged wife ; and on 
April 28th, 1861, he was hanged. The lynchers placed him on a 
horse under a tree, and then drove the animal away, leaving 
him suspended from a limb. 

Washington's Birthday, in 1855, was made merrier by 
festivities conducted under the auspices of the City Guards, of 
which W. W. Twist — a grocer and commission merchant at 
Beaudry's Block, Aliso Street, and afterward in partnership 
with Casildo Aguilar — was Captain. The same organization 
gave its first anniversary ball in May. Twist was a Ranger, 
or member of the volunteer mounted police ; and it was he who, 
in March, 1857, formed the first rifle company. In the early 
sixties, he was identified with the sheriff's ofhce, after which, 
venturing into Mexico, he was killed. 

Henry C. G. Schaeffer came to Los Angeles on March i6th, 
1855, and opened the first gunsmith shop in a little adobe on 
the east side of Los Angeles Street near Commercial, which he 
soon surrounded with an attractive flower garden. A year after 
Schaeffer came, he was followed by another gunsmith, August 
Stoermer. Schaeffer continued, however, to sell and mend 

148 sixty Years in Southern California [185s 

guns and to cultivate flowers; and twenty years later found 
him on Wilmington Street, near New Commercial, still encir- 
cled by one of the choicest collections of flowers in the city, 
and the first to have brought here the night-blooming cereus. 
With more than regret, therefore, I must record that, in the 
middle seventies, this warm-hearted friend of children, so 
deserving of the good will of everyone, committed suicide. 

Gold was discovered at Havilah, Kern County, in 1854; and 
by the early spring of 1855 exaggerated accounts of the find 
had spread broadcast over the entire State. Yarn after yarn 
passed from mouth to mouth, one of the most extravagant 
of the reports being that a Mexican doctor and alchemist 
suddenly rode into Mariposa from the hills, where he had 
found a gulch paved with gold, his horse and himself being 
fairly covered with bags of nuggets. The rush by gold-seekers 
on their way from the North to Los Angeles (the Southern 
gateway to the fields) began in January, 1855, and continued a 
couple of years, every steamer being loaded far beyond the 
safety limit; and soon miles of the rough highways leading to 
the mines were covered with every conceivable form of vehicle 
and struggling animals, as well as with thousands of footsore 
prospectors, unable to command transportation at any price. 
For awhile, ten, twelve and even fifteen per cent, interest a 
month was offered for small amounts of money by those of the 
prospectors who needed assistance, a rate based on the cal- 
culation that a wide-awake digger would be sure of eight to ten 
dollars a day, and that with such returns one should certainly 
be satisfied. This time the excitement was a little too much for 
the Los Angeles editors to ignore; and in March the publisher 
of the Southern Calif omian, himself losing his balance, issued 
an "extra" with these starthng announcements: 




There are a thousand gulches rich with gold, and room for 
ten thousand miners ! Miners average $50.00 a day. One man 

i8s5] The Rush for Gold 149 

with his own hands took out $160.00 in a day. Five men in 
ten days took out $4,500.00. 

The affair proved, however, a ridiculous failure; and Wil- 
liam Marsh, an old Los Angeles settler and a very decent chap, 
who conducted a store at Havilah, was among those who suffered 
heavy loss. Although some low-grade ore was found, it was 
generally not in paying quantities. The dispersion of this 
adventurous mass of humanity brought to Los Angeles many 
undesirable people, among them gamblers and desperadoes, 
who flocked in the wake of the gold-diggers, making another 
increase in the rough element. Before long, four men were 
fatally shot and half a dozen wounded near the Plaza, one 
Sunday night. 

When the excitement about the gold-finds along the Kern 
River was at its height, Frank Lecouvreur arrived here, 
March 6th, on the steamship America, lured by reports then 
current in San Francisco. To save the fare of five dollars, he 
trudged for ten hours all the way from San Pedro, carrying on 
his shoulders forty pounds of baggage ; but on putting up at the 
United States Hotel, then recently started, he was dissuaded 
by some experienced miners from venturing farther up the 
country. Soon after, he met a fellow-countryman from 
Konigsberg, named Arnold, who induced him, on account of his 
needy condition, to take work in his saloon; but disliking his 
duties and the rather frequent demands upon his nervous 
system through being shot at, several times, by patrons not 
exactly satisfied with Lecouvreur's locomotion and his method 
of serving, the young German quit the job and went to 
work as a carriage-painter for John Goller. In October, Cap- 
tain Henry Hancock, then County Surveyor, engaged Le- 
couvreur as flagman, at a salary of sixty dollars; which was 
increased twenty-five per cent, on the trip of the surveyors 
to the Mojave. 

March 29th, 1855, witnessed the organization of the first 
Odd Fellows' lodge — No. 35 — instituted here. General Ezra 
Drown was the leading spirit; and others associated with him 

150 Sixty Years in Southern California [1855 

were E. Wilson High, Alexander Crabb, L. C. Goodwin, William 
C. Ardinger, Morris L. Goodman and M. M. Davis. 

During the fifties, the Bella Union passed under several 
successive managements. On July 226., 1854, Dr. Macy sold it to 
W. G. Ross and a partner named Crockett. They were suc- 
ceeded, on April 7th, 1855, by Robert S. Hereford. Ross was 
killed, some years afterward, by C. P. Duane in San Francisco. 

In pursuit of business, in 1855, I made a number of trips to 
San Bernardino, some of which had their amusing incidents, and 
most of which afforded pleasure or an agreeable change. Meet- 
ing Sam Meyer on one of these occasions, just as I was mounted 
and ready to start, I invited him to accompany me ; and as Sam 
assured me that he knew where to secure a horse, we started 
down the street together and soon passed a shop in which 
there was a Mexican customer holding on to a reata leading out 
through the door to his saddled nag. Sam walked in; and 
having a casual acquaintance with the man, asked him if he 
would lend him the animal for a while? People were generous 
in those days; and the good-hearted Mexican, thinking perhaps 
that Sam was "just going around the corner," carelessly an- 
swered, ''Si, Senor,'' and proceeded with his bartering. Sam, 
on the other hand, came out of the shop and led the horse 
away ! After some days of minor adventures, when we lost our 
path near the Old Mission and had to put back to El Monte 
for the night, we arrived at San Bernardino; and on our return, 
after watering the horses, Sam found in his unhaltered steed 
such a veritable Tartar that, in sheer desperation, he was about 
to shoot the borrowed beast ! 

On another one of these trips I was entertained by Simon 
Jackson, a merchant of that town, who took me to a restaurant 
kept by a Captain Weiner. This, the best eating-place in town, 
was about ten feet square and had a mud floor. It was a 
miserably hot day — so hot, in fact, that I distinctly remember 
the place being filled with flies, and that the butter had run to 
oil. Nature had not intended Weiner to cater to sensitive 
stomachs, at least not on the day of which I speak, and to make 
matters worse, Weiner was then his own waiter. He was 

i8s5] The Rush for Gold 151 

wallowing around in his bare feet, and was otherwise unkempt 
and unclean; and the whole scene is therefore indelibly im- 
pressed on my memory. When the slovenly Captain bawled out : 
"Which will you have — chops or steak?" Jackson straightened 
up, threw out his chest, and in evidence of the vigor of his 
appetite, just as vociferously answered: "I want a steak as big 
as a mule's foot!'' 

Living in San Bernardino was a customer of ours, a celeb- 
rity by the name of Lewis Jacobs. He had joined the Mormon 
Church and was a merchant of worth and consequence. Jacobs 
was an authority on all matters of finance connected with his 
town, and anyone wishing to know the condition of business 
men in that neighborhood had only to apply to him. Once 
when I was in San Bernardino, I asked him for information 
regarding a prospective patron who was rather a gay sort of 
individual; and this was Jacobs's characteristic reply: "A very 
fine fellow: he plays a little poker, and drinks a little whiskey!" 
Jacobs became a banker and in 1900 died on shipboard while 
returning from Europe, leaving a comfortable fortune and the 
more valuable asset of a good name. 

In referring to Alexander & Melius and their retirement from 
business, I have said that merchandise required by Southern Cal- 
if ornians in the early days, and before the absorption of the Los 
Angeles market by San Francisco, was largely transported by 
sailing vessels from the East. When a ship arrived, it was an 
event worthy of special notice, and this was particularly the 
case when such sailing craft came less and less often into port. 
Sometimes the arrival of the vessel was heralded in advance; 
and when it was unloaded, the shrewd merchants used decidedly 
modern methods for the marketing of their wares. In 1855, for 
example, Johnson & Allanson advertised as follows : 

Direct from the Atlantic States, 112 Days' Passage. 
Samples of the Cargo at our Store in the Stearns Building; 
and the entire Cargo will be disposed of cheap, for cash. 
Goods delivered at San Pedro or Los Angeles. 

152 Sixty Years in Southern California [1855 

From the above announcement, it must not be inferred that 
these Los Angeles tradesmen brought to this port the whole 
shipload of merchandise. Such ships left but a small part of 
their cargo here, the major portion being generally consigned 
to the North. 

The dependence on San Francisco continued until the com- 
pletion of our first transcontinental railway. In the mean- 
time, Los Angeles had to rely on the Northern city for nearly 
everything, live stock being about the only exception ; and this 
relation was shown in 1855 by the publication of no less than 
four columns of San Francisco advertisements in the regular 
issue of a Los Angeles newspaper. Much of this commerce 
with the Southland for years was conducted by means of 
schooners which ran irregularly and only when there was cargo. 
They plied between San Francisco and San Pedro, and by 
agreement put in at Santa Barbara and other Coast places 
such as Port San Luis, when the shipments warranted such 
stops. N. Pierce & Company were the owners. One of these 
vessels in 1855 was the clipper schooner Laura Bevan, cap- 
tained by F. Morton and later wrecked at sea when Frank 
Lecouvreur just escaped taking passage on her; and an- 
other was the Sea Serpent, whose Captain bore the name of 

I have said that in 1849 the old side-wheeler Gold Hunter 
had commenced paddling the waters around here ; but so far as 
I can remember, she was not operating in 1853. The Goliah, on 
the other hand, was making two round trips a month, carrying 
passengers, mail and freight from San Francisco to San Diego, 
and stopping at various Coast points including San Pedro. 
In a vague way, I also remember the mail steamer Ohio under 
one of the Haleys, the Sea Bird, at one time commanded by 
Salisbury Haley, and the Southerner; and if I am uncertain 
about others, the difficulty may be due to the fact that, because 
of unseaworthiness and miserable service, owners changed the 
names of ships from time to time in order to allay the popular 
prejudice and distrust, so that during some years, several names 
were successively applied to the same vessel. It must have been 

isssl The Rush for Gold 153 

about 1855 or 1856 that the Senator (brought to the Coast by 
Captain Coffin, January 28th, 1 853) was put on the Southern run, 
and with her advent began a considerably improved service. 
As the schooners were even more irregular than the steamers, 
I generally divided my shipments, giving to the latter what I 
needed immediately, and consigning by the schooners, whose 
freight rates were much lower, what could stand delay. One 
more word about the Goliah: one day in the eighties I heard 
that she was still doing valiant service, having been sold to a 
Puget Sound company. 

Recalling these old-time side-wheelers whose paddles 
churned the water into a frothing foam out of all proportion to 
the speed with which they drove the boat along her course, I 
recall, with a feeling almost akin to sentiment, the roar of the 
signal-gun fired just before landing, making the welcome 
announcement, as well to the traveler as to his friends 
awaiting him on shore, that the voyage had been safely 

Shortly after my arrival in Los Angeles, the transportation 
service was enlarged by the addition of a stage line from San 
Francisco which ran along the Coast from the Northern city to 
the Old Town of San Diego, making stops all along the road, in- 
cluding San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and San 
Buenaventura, and particularly at Los Angeles, where not only 
horses, but stages and supplies were kept. The stage to San 
Diego followed, for the most part, the route selected later 
by the Santa Fe Railroad. 

These old-time stages remind me again of the few varieties 
of vehicles then in use. John Goller had met with much skepti- 
cism and ridicule, as I have said, when he was planning an im- 
provement on the old and clnvusy car r eta; and when his new ideas 
did begin to prevail, he suffered from competition. E. L. Scott 
& Company came as blacksmiths and carriage-makers in 1 855 ; 
and George Boorham was another who arrived about the same 
time. Ben McLoughlin was also an early wheelwright. Among 
Goller's assistants who afterward opened shops for themselves, 
were the three Louis's — Roeder, Lichtenberger and Breer; 

154 Sixty Years in Southern California [185s 

Roeder and Lichtenberger ' having a place on the west side of 
Spring Street just south of First. 

Thomas W. Seeley, Captain of the Senator, was very fond 
of Los Angeles diversions, as will appear from the following 
anecdote of the late fifties. After bringing his ship to anchor 
off the coast, he would hasten to Los Angeles, leaving his 
vessel in command of First Mate Butters to complete the 
voyage to San Diego and return, which consumed forty-eight 
hoiurs; and during this interval, the old Captain regularly made 
his headquarters at the Bella Union. There he would spend 
practically all of his time playing poker, then considered the 
gentleman's game of chance, and which, since the mania for 
Chemical Purity had not yet possessed Los Angeles, was looked 
upon without criticism. When the steamer returned from San 
Diego, Captain Seeley, if neither his own interest in the game 
nor his fellow-players' interest in his pocketbook, had ebbed, 
would postpone the departure of his ship, frequently for even 
as much as twenty-four hours, thus adding to the irregularity of 
sailings which I have already mentioned. Many, in fact, were 
the inconveniences to which early travelers were subjected 
from this infrequency of trips and failure to sail at the 
stated hour; and to aggravate the trouble, the vessels were all 
too small, especially when a sudden excitement — due, per- 
haps, to some new report of the discovery of gold — increased 
the number of intending travelers. It even happened, some- 
times, that persons were compelled to postpone their trip 
until the departure of another boat. Speaking of anchoring 
vessels off the coast, I may add that high seas frequently made 
it impossible to reach the steamers announced to leave at a 
certain time; in which case the officers used to advertise in the 
newspapers that the time of departure had been changed. 

When Captain Seeley was killed in the Ada Hancock dis- 
aster, in 1863, First Mate Butters was made Captain and 
continued for some time in command. Just what his real 
fitness was, I cannot say; but it seemed to me that he did not 
know the Coast any too well. This impression also existed in 

» Lichtenberger died some years ago; Roeder died February 20th, 191 5. 

Louis Sainsevain 

Manuel Dominguez 

El Aliso, the Sainsevain Wineiy 

From an old lithograph 

John T. Lanfranco 

Jacob Ellas 

J. Frank Bums 

Henry D. Barrows 

i85s] The Rush for Gold 155 

the minds of others; and once, when we were supposed to be 
making our way to San Francisco, the heavy fog lifted and re- 
vealed the shore thirty miles north of our destination ; where- 
upon a fellow-passenger exclaimed : "Why, Captain, this isn't 
at all the part of the Coast where we should be!" The remark 
stung the sensitive Butters, who probably was conscious enough 
of his shortcomings; and straightway he threatened to put the 
offending passenger in irons ! 

George F. Lamson was an auctioneer who arrived in Los 
Angeles in 1855. Aside from the sale of live stock, there was 
not much business in his line; although, as I have said. Dr. Os- 
burn, the Postmaster, also had an auction room. Sales of 
household effects were held on a Tuesday or a Wednesday ; while 
horses were offered for sale on Saturdays. Lamson had the 
typical auctioneer's personality; and many good stories were 
long related, illustrating his humor, wit and amusing im- 
pudence by which he often disposed, even to his friends, of 
almost worthless objects at high prices. A daughter Gertrude, 
widely known as Lillian Nance O'Neill, never married; another 
daughter, Lillian, is the wife of William Desmond, the actor. 

In 1854, Congress made an appropriation of fifty thousand 
dollars which went far toward opening up the trade that later 
flourished between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. This 
money was for the survey and location of a wagon-road between 
San Bernardino and the Utah capital; and on the first of May, 
1855, Gilbert & Company established their Great Salt Lake 
Express over that Government route. It was at first a pony 
express, making monthly trips, carrying letters and stopping 
at such stations as Coal Creek, Fillmore City, Summit Creek 
and American Fork, and finally reaching Great Salt Lake; and 
early having good Los Angeles connections, it prospered 
sufficiently to substitute a wagon-service for the pony express. 
Although this was at first intended only as a means of con- 
necting the Mormon capital with the more recently-founded 
Mormon settlement at San Bernardino, the extension of the 
service to Los Angeles eventually made this city the terminus. 

Considerable excitement was caused by the landing at San 

156 Sixty Years in Southern California [1855] 

Pedro, in 1855, of a shipload of Mormons from Honolulu. 
Though I do not recall that any more recruits came subse- 
quently from that quarter, the arrival of these adherents of 
Brigham Young added color to his explanation that he had es- 
tablished a Mormon colony in California, as a base of opera- 
tions and supplies for converts from the Sandwich Islands. 

Thomas Foster, a Kentuckian, was the sixth Mayor of Los 
Angeles, taking office in May, 1855. He lived opposite Masonic 
Hall on Main Street, with his family, among whom were some 
charming daughters, and was in partnership with Dr. R. T. 
Hayes, in Apothecaries' Hall near the Post Office. He was one 
of the first Masons here and was highly esteemed ; and he early 
declared himself in favor of better school and water facilities. 

About the second week of June, 1855, appeared the first 
Spanish newspaper in Los Angeles under the American regime. 
It was called El Clamor Publico, and made its appeal, socially, 
to the better class of native Californians. Politically, it was 
edited for Republicans, especially for the supporters, in 1856, of 
Fremont for President. Its editor was Francisco P. Ramirez; 
but though he was an able journalist and a good typo — becom- 
ing, between i860 and 1862, State Printer in Sonoraand, in 1865, 
Spanish Translator for the State of California — the Clamor, on 
December 31st, 1859, went the way of so many other local 



FROM all accounts, Fourth of July was celebrated in Los 
Angeles with more or less enthusiasm from the time of 
the City's reorganization, although afterward, as we 
shall see, the day was often neglected; but certainly in 1855 the 
festivities were worthy of remembrance. There was less for- 
mality, perhaps, and more cannonading than in later years; 
music was furnished by a brass band from Fort Tejon; and 
Phineas Banning was the stentorian "orator of the day." 
Two years previously, Banning had provided a three days' cele- 
bration and barbecue for the Fourth, attended by my brother; 
and I once enjoyed a barbecue at San Juan Capistrano 
where the merriment, continuing for half a week, marked 
both the hospitality and the leisurely habits of the people. In 
those days (when men were not afraid of noise) boys, in cele- 
brating American Independence, made all the hullabaloo 
possible, untrammeled by the nonsense of "a sane Fourth." 

On the Fourth of July and other holidays, as well as on 
Sundays, men from the country came to town, arrayed in their 
fanciest clothes; and, mounted upon their most spirited and 
gaily-caparisoned cahallos de silla, or saddle-horses, they pa- 
raded the streets, as many as ten abreast, jingling the metallic 
parts of their paraphernalia, admired and applauded by the 
populace, and keenly alive to the splendid appearance they 
and their outfits made, and to the effect sure to be produced on 
the fair senoritas. The most popular thoroughfare for this 


158 Sixty Years in Southern California [185s 

purpose was Main Street. On such occasions, the men wore 
short, very tight-fitting jackets of bright-colored material — 
blue, green and yellow being the favorite colors — and trim- 
med with gold and silver lace or fringe. These jackets 
were so tight that often the wearers put them on only with 
great difficulty. The calzoneras, or pantaloons, were of the 
same material as the jackets, open on the side and flanked with 
brass buttons. The openings exposed the calzoncillos, or drawers. 
A fashionable adjunct was the Mexican garter, often costing 
ten to fifteen dollars, and another was the high-heeled boot, so 
small that ten minutes or more were required to draw it on. 
This boot was a great conceit; but though experiencing much 
discomfort, the victim could not be induced to increase the size. 

The serape, worn by men, was the native substitute for the 
overcoat. It was a narrow, Mexican blanket of finest wool, mul- 
ticolored and provided with a hole near the center large enough 
to let the wearer's head through; and when not in actual use, 
it was thrown over the saddle. The head-gear consisted in win- 
ter of a broad-rimmed, high-crowned, woolen sombrero, usually 
brown, which was kept in place during fast travel or a race by a 
ribbon or band fastened under the chin ; often, as in the familiar 
case of Ygnacio Lugo, the hat was" ornamented with beads. 
In summer, the rider substituted a shirt for the serape and 
a Panama for the sombrero. The caballero's outfit, in the case 
of some wealthy dons, exceeded a thousand dollars in value; and 
it was not uncommon for fancy costumes to be handed down 
as heirlooms. 

The women, on the other hand, wore skirts of silk, wool or 
cotton, according to their wealth or the season. Many of the 
female conceits had not appeared in 1853; the grandmothers of 
the future suffragettes wore, instead of bonnets and hats, a 
rebozo, or sort of scarf or muffler, which covered their heads 
and shoulders and looked delightfully picturesque. To don this 
gracefully was, in fact, quite an art. Many of the native 
California ladies also braided their hair, and wore circular 
combs around the back of their heads ; at least this was so until, 
with the advent of a greater number of American women, their 

iSssl The Great Horse Race 159 

more modem, though less romantic, styles commenced to prevail, 
when even the picturesque mantilla was discarded. 

Noting these differences of dress in early days, I should not 
forget to state that there were both American and Mexican 
tailors here; among the former being one McCoy and his son, 
merry companions whose copartnership carousals were pro- 
verbial. The Mexican tailor had the advantage of knowing 
just what the native requirements were, although in the course 
of time his Gringo rival came to understand the tastes and pre- 
judices of the paisano, and to obtain the better share of the 
patronage. The cloth from which the caballero's outfit was 
made could be found in most of the stores. 

As with clothes and tailors, so it was with other articles of 
apparel and those who manufactured them ; the natives had their 
own shoe- and hat-makers, and their styles were unvarying. 
The genuine Panam4 hat was highly prized and often copied ; 
and Francisco Velardes — who used a grindstone bought of John 
Temple in 1852, now in the County Museum — was one who 
sold and imitated Panamds of the fifties. A product of the 
bootmakers' skill were leathern leggings, worn to protect the 
trousers when riding on horseback. The Gringos were then 
given to copying the fashions of the natives; but as the 
pioneer population increased, the Mexican came more and 
more to adopt American styles. 

Growing out of these exhibitions of horsemanship and of 
the natives' fondness for display, was the rather important 
industry of making Mexican saddles, in which quite a num- 
ber of skilled paisanos were employed. Among the most ex- 
pert was Francisco Moreno, who had a little shop on the 
south side of Aliso Street, not far from Los Angeles. One of 
these hand-worked saddles often cost two hundred dollars or 
more, in addition to which expensive bridles, bits and spurs 
were deemed necessary accessories. Antonio Maria Lugo had 
a silver-mounted saddle, bridle and spurs that cost fifteen 
hundred dollars. 

On holidays and even Sundays, Upper Main Street — for- 
merly called the Calle de las Virgenes, or Street of the Maids, 

i6o Sixty Years in Southern California (iSss 

later San Fernando Street — was the scene of horse races and 
their attendant festivities, just as it used to be when money 
or gold was especially plentiful, if one may judge from the 
stories of those who were here in the prosperous year, 1850. 
People from all over the county visited Los Angeles to 
take part in the sport, some coming from mere ciu-iosity, but the 
majority anxious to bet. Some money, and often a good deal of 
stock changed hands, according to the success or failure of the 
different favorites. It cannot be claimed, perhaps, that the 
Mexican, like the Gringo, made a specialty of developing horse- 
flesh to perfection ; yet Mexicans owned many of the fast horses, 
such as Don Jose Sepiilveda's Sydney Ware and Black Swan, 
and the Californian Sarco belonging to Don Pio Pico. 

The most celebrated of all these horse races of early days 
was that between Jose Andres Sepulveda's Black Swan and 
Pio Pico's Sarco, the details of which I learned, soon after I 
came here, from Tom Mott. Sepulveda had imported the Black 
Swan from Australia, in 1852, the year of the race, while Pico 
chose a California steed to defend the honors of the day. Sepul- 
veda himself went to San Francisco to receive the consignment 
in person, after which he committed the thoroughbred into the 
keeping of Bill Brady, the trainer, who rode him down to Los 
Angeles, and gave him as much care as might have been be- 
stowed upon a favorite child. They were to race nine miles, the 
carrera commencing on San Pedro Street near the city limits, 
and running south a league and a half and return; and the 
reports of the preparation having spread throughout California, 
the event came to be looked upon as of such great importance, 
that, from San Francisco to San Diego, whoever had the money 
hurried to Los Angeles to witness the contest and bet on the 
result. Twenty-five thousand dollars, in addition to five 
hundred horses, five hundred mares, five hundred heifers, five 
hundred calves and five hundred sheep were among the princely 
stakes put up; and the wife of Jose Andres was driven to the 
scene of the memorable contest with a veritable fortune in 
gold slugs wrapped in a large handkerchief. Upon arriving 
there, she opened her improvised purse and distributed the 

isssl The Great Horse Race i6i 

shining fifty-dollar pieces to all of her attendants and servants, 
of whom there were not a few, with the injunction that they 
should wager the money on the race; and her example was 
followed by others, so that, in addition to the cattle, land and 
merchandise hazarded, a considerable sum of money was bet by 
the contending parties and their friends. The Black Swan 
won easily. The peculiar character of some of the wagers re- 
calls to me an instance of a later date when a native customer 
of Louis Phillips tried to borrow a wagon, in order to bet the 
•same on a horse race. If the customer won, he was to return 
the wagon at once; but if he lost, he was to pay Phillips a certain 
price for the vehicle. 

Many kinds of amusements marked these festal occasions, 
and bull-fights were among the diversions patronized by some 
Angelefios, the Christmas and New Year holidays of 1854-55 
being celebrated in that manner. I dare say that in earlier days 
Los Angeles may have had its Plaza de Toros, as did the ancient 
metropolis of the great country to the South; but in the later 
stages of the sport here, the toreador and his colleagues con- 
ducted their contests in a gaudily-painted corral, in close 
proximity to the Plaza. They were usually proclaimed as 
professionals from Mexico or Spain, but were often engaged 
for a livelihood, under another name, in a less dangerous and 
romantic occupation near by. Admission was charged, and 
some pretense to a grandstand was made; but through the 
apertures in the fence of the corral those who did not pay 
might, by dint of hard squinting, still get a peep at the 
show. In this corral, in the fifties, I saw a fight between 
a bear and a bull. I can still recollect the crowd, but I cannot 
say which of the infuriated animals survived. Toward the 
end of 1858, a bull-fight took place in the Calle de Toros, and 
there was great excitement when a horse was instantly killed. 

Cock-fights were also a very common form of popular 
entertainment, and sports were frequently seen going around 
the streets with fighting cocks under each arm. The fights 
generally took place in Sonora Town, though now and then 
they were held in San Gabriel. Mexicans carried on quite a 

i62 Sixty Years in Southern California FiSss 

trade In game roosters among the patrons of this pastime, of 
whom M. G. Santa Cruz was one of the best known. Some- 
times, too, roosters contributed to still another brutal diversion 
known as correr el gallo: their necks having been well greased, 
they would be partially buried in the earth alongside a public 
highway, when riders on fleet horses dashed by at full speed, 
and tried to seize the fowls and pull them out ! This reminds 
me of another game in which horsemen, speeding madly by a 
succession of suspended, small rings, would try, by the skillful 
handling of a long spear, to collect as many of the rings as 
they could — a sport illustrated in one of the features of the 
modern merr3'^-go-round. 

The easy-going temperament of the native gave rise to many 
an amusing incident. I once asked a woman, as we were discuss- 
ing the coming marriage of her daughter, whom the dark-eyed 
senorita was to marry; whereupon she replied, "I forget;" 
and turning to her daughter, she asked: " iComo se llama?'' 
(What did you say was his name ?) 

George Dalton bought a tract of land on Washington, east 
of San Pedro Street, in 1855, and set out a vineyard and orchard 
which he continued to cultivate until 1887, when he moved to 
Walnut Avenue. Dalton was a Londoner who sailed from Liver- 
pool on the day of Queen Victoria's coronation, to spend some 
years wandering through Pennsylvania and Ohio. About 1851, 
he followed to the Azusa district his brother, Henry Dalton, who 
had previously been a merchant in Peru; but, preferring the 
embryo city to the country, he returned to Los Angeles to live. 
Two sons, E. H. Dalton, City Water Overseer, in 1886-87, and 
Winnall Travelly Dalton, the vineyardist, were offspring of 
Dalton's first marriage. Elizabeth M . , a daughter, married Wil- 
liam H. Perry. Dalton Avenue is named after the Dalton family. 

In another place I have spoken of the dearth of trees in the 
town when I came, though the editor of the Star and others 
had advocated tree-planting. This was not due to mere neglect ; 
there was prejudice against such street improvement. The 
School Trustees had bought a dozen or more black locust-trees, 
"at eight bits each," and planted them on the school lot at 

i8s5l The Great Horse Race 163 

Second and Spring streets. Drought and squirrels in 1855 at- 
tacked the trees, and while the pedagogue went after the "var- 
mints" with a shot-gun, he watered the trees from the school 
barrel. The carrier, however, complained that drinking-water 
was being wasted; and only after several rhetorical bouts was 
the schoolmaster allowed to save what was already invested. 
The locust-trees flourished until 1884, when they were hewn 
down to make way for the City Hall. 

Two partially-successful attempts were made, in 1855, to 
introduce the chestnut-tree here. Jean Louis Sainsevain, 
coming to Los Angeles in that year, brought with him some 
seed; and this doubtless led Solomon Lazard to send back to 
Bordeaux for some of the Italian variety. William Wolfskill, 
who first brought here the persimmon-tree, took a few of the 
seeds imported by Lazard and planted them near his home- 
stead ; and a dozen of the trees later adorned the beautiful gar- 
den of O. W. Childs who, in the following year, started some 
black walnut seed obtained in New York. H. P. Dorsey was 
also a pioneer walnut grower. 

My brother's plans at this time included a European visit, 
commencing in 1855 and lasting until 1856, during which trip, 
in Germany, on November nth, 1855, he was married. After 
his Continental tour, he returned to San Francisco and was 
back in Los Angeles some time before 1857. On this European 
voyage, my brother was entrusted with the care and delivery 
of American Government documents. From London he car- 
ried certain papers to the American Minister in Denmark; and 
in furtherance of his mission, he was given the following intro- 
duction and passport from James Buchanan, then Minister 
Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James and later President 
of the United States : 




To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting ; 

164 Sixty Years in Southern California [1855 

Know Ye, that the bearer hereof, Joseph P. Newmark, Esq., 
is proceeding to Hambiirgh and Denmark, bearing Despatches 
from this Legation, to the United States' Legation at Copen- 

These are therefore to request all whom it may concern, to 
permit him to pass freely without let or molestation, and to 
extend to him such friendly aid and protection, as would be 
extended to Citizens and Subjects of Foreign Countries, re- 
sorting to the United States, bearing Despatches. 

In testimony whereof, I, James Buchanan, Envoy Extra- 
ordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, of the United States of 
America, at London, have hereunto set my hand, and caused 
the Seal of this Legation to be affixed this Tenth day of July 
A.D. 1855 and of the Independence of the United States the 


(Seal of the Legation of the U.S. 
of America to Great Britain.) 

James Buchanan. 

I have always accepted the fact of my brother's selection to 
convey these documents as evidence that, in the few years since 
his arrival in America, he had attained a position of some respon- 
sibility. Aside from this, I am inclined to relate the experience 
because it shows the then limited resources of our Federal 
authorities abroad, especially as compared with their compre- 
hensive facilities to-day, including their own despatch agents, 
messengers and Treasury representatives scattered throughout 

A trip of Prudent Beaudry abroad about this time reminds 
me that specialization in medical science was as unknown in early 
Los Angeles as was specialization in business, and that persons 
suffering from grave physical disorders frequently visited even 
remoter points than San Francisco in search of relief. In 1855, 
Beaudry's health having become seriously impaired, he went 
to Paris to consult the famous oculist, Sichel ; but he received 
little or no benefit. While in Europe, Beaudry visited the 
Exposition of that year, and was one of the first Angelefios, I 
suppose, to see a World's Fair. 

i8s5] The Great Horse Race 165 

These early tours to Europe by Temple, Beaudry and my 
brother, and some of my own experiences, recall the changes 
in the manner of bidding Los Angeles travelers bon-voyage. 
Friends generally accompanied the tourist to the outlying 
steamer, reached by a tug or lighter ; and when the leave-taking 
came, there were cheers, repetitions of adios and the waving of 
hats and handkerchiefs, which continued until the steamer had 
disappeared from view. 

The first earthquake felt throughout California, of which I 
have any recollection, occurred on July nth, 1855, somewhat 
after eight o'clock in the evening, and was a most serious local 
disturbance. Almost every structure in Los Angeles was dam- 
aged, and some of the walls were left with large cracks. Near 
San Gabriel, the adobe in which Hugo Reid's Indian wife dwelt 
was wrecked, notwithstanding that it had walls four feet thick, 
with great beams of lumber drawn from the mountains of San 
Bernardino. In certain spots, the ground rose; in others, it fell; 
and with the rising and falling, down came chimneys, shelves 
full of salable stock or household necessities, pictures and even 
parts of roofs, while water in barrels, and also in several of the 
zanjas, bubbled and splashed and overflowed. Again, on the 
14th of April, the 2d of May and the 20th of September of 
the following year, we were alarmed by recurring and more or 
less continuous shocks which, however, did little or no damage. 




OF the wonderful domains granted to the Spanish dons some 
were still in the possession of their descendants ; some 
had passed into the hands of the Argonauts ; but nothing 
in the way of subdividing had been attempted. The private 
ownership of Los Angeles County in the early fifties, therefore, 
was distinguished by few holders and large tracts, one of the 
most notable being that of Don Abel Stearns, who came here in 
1829, and who, in his early adventures, narrowly escaped exile 
or being shot by an irate Spanish governor. Eventually, 
Stearns became the proud possessor of tens of thousands of 
acres between San Pedro and San Bernardino, now covered 
with cities, towns and hamlets. The site of the Long Beach 
of to-day was but a small part of his Alamitos rancho, a portion 
of the town also including some of the Cerritos acres of John 
Temple. Los Coyotes, La Habra and San Juan Cajon de 
Santa Ana were among the Stearns ranches advertised for sale 
in 1869. Later, I shall relate how this Alamitos land came to 
be held by Jotham Bixby and his associates. 

Juan Temple owned the Los Cerritos rancho, consisting of 
some twenty-seven thousand acres, patented on December 27th, 
1867, but which, I have heard, he bought of the Nieto heirs in 
the late thirties, building there the typical ranch-house, later 
the home of the Bixbys and still a feature of the neighborhood. 
Across the Cerritos Stockton's weary soldiers dragged their 
way; and there, or near by, Carrillo, by driving wild horses 


[i855l Princely Rmtcho Domains 167 

back and forth in confusion, and so creating a great noise and 
dust, tricked Stockton into thinking that there were many 
more of the mounted enemy than he had at first supposed. 
By 1853, Temple was estimated to be worth, in addition to his 
ranches, some twenty thousand dollars. In i860, Los Cerritos 
supported perhaps four thousand cattle and great flocks of 
sheep; on a portion of the same ranch to-day, as I have 
remarked. Long Beach stands. 

Another citizen of Los Angeles who owned much property 
when I came, and who lived upon his ranch, was Francis 
Phinney Fisk Temple, one of the first Los Angeles supervisors, 
a man exceptionally modest and known among his Spanish- 
speaking friends as Templito, because of his five feet four stat- 
ure. He came here, by way of the Horn, in 1841, when he was 
but nineteen years of age, and for a while was in business with 
his brother John. Marrying Senorita Antonia Margarita Work- 
man, however, on September 30th, 1845, Francis made his home 
at La Merced Ranch, twelve miles east of Los Angeles, in the 
San Gabriel Valley, where he had a spacious and hospitable 
adobe after the old Spanish style, shaped something like a V , 
and about seventy by one hundred and ten feet in size. Around 
this house, later destroyed by fire, Temple planted twenty acres 
of fruit trees and fifty thousand or more vines, arranging the 
whole in a garden partly enclosed by a fence — the exception 
rather than the rule for even a country nabob of that time. 
Templito also owned other ranches many miles. in extent; but 
misfortune overtook him, and by the nineties his estate pos- 
sessed scarcely a single acre of land in either the city or the 
county of Los Angeles ; and he breathed his last in a rude sheep 
herder's camp in a corner of one of his famous properties. 

Colonel Julian Isaac Williams, who died some three years 
after I arrived, owned the celebrated Cucamonga and Chino 
ranches. As early as 1842, after a nine or ten years' residence in 
Los Angeles, WilHams moved to the Rancho del Chino, which 
included not merely the Santa Ana del Chino grant — some 
twenty-two thousand acres originally given to Don Antonio 
Maria Lugo, in 1841 — but the addition of twelve to thirteen 

168 Sixty Years in Southern California dsss 

thousand acres, granted in 1843 to Williams (who became 
Lugo's son-in-law) making a total of almost thirty-five thou- 
sand acres. On that ranch Williams built a house famed far 
and wide for its spaciousness and hospitality; and it was at his 
hacienda that the celebrated capture of B D. Wilson and 
others was effected when they ran out of ammunition. Wil- 
liams was liberal in assisting the needy, even despatching mes- 
sengers to Los Angeles, on the arrival at his ranch of worn-out 
and ragged immigrants, to secure clothing and other supplies for 
them; and it is related that, on other occasions, he was known to 
have advanced to young men capital amounting in the aggre- 
gate to thousands of dollars, with which they established them- 
selves in business. By 1851, Williams had amassed personal 
property estimated to be worth not less than thirty -five thousand 
dollars. In the end, he gave his ranchos to his daughters as 
marriage-portions: the Chino to Francisca, or Mrs. Robert 
Carlisle, who became the wife of Dr. F. A. McDougall, Mayor 
in 1877-78, and, after his death, Mrs. Jesurun; and the Cuca- 
monga to Maria Merced, or Mrs. John Rains, mother-in-law of 
ex-Governor Henry T. Gage, who was later Mrs. Carrillo. 

Benjamin Davis Wilson, or Benito Wilson, as he was usually 
called, who owned a good part of the most beautiful land in the 
San Gabriel Valley and who laid out the trail up the Sierra 
Madre to Wilson's Peak, was one of our earliest settlers, having 
come from Tennessee via New Mexico, in 1841. In June, 1846, 
Wilson joined . the riflemen organized against Castro, and in 
1848, having been put in charge of some twenty men to protect 
the San Bernardino frontier, he responded to a call from Isaac 
Williams to hasten to the Chino rancho where, with his com- 
patriots, he was taken prisoner. Somewhat earlier — I have 
understood about 1844 — Wilson and Albert Packard formed 
a partnership, but this was dissolved near the end of 1851. 
In 1850, Wilson was elected County Clerk; and the following 
year, he volunteered to patrol the hills and assist in watching 
for Garra, the outlaw, the report of whose coming was terroriz- 
ing the town. In 1853, he was Indian Agent for Southern Cali- 
fornia. It must have been about 1849 that Wilson secured 

^^« ■>■ 

"€5I C 


Maurice Kremer 

Solomon Lazard 


Mellus's, or BeU's Row 

From a lithograph of 1858 

William H. Workman and John King 

Prudent Beaudry 

James S. Mallard 

John Behn 

1855] Princely Rancho Domains 169 

control, for a while, of the Bella Union. His first wife was 
Ramona Yorba, a daughter of Bernardo Yorba, whom he 
married in February, 1844, and who died in 1849. On February 
1st, 1853, Wilson married again, this time Mrs. Margaret S. 
Hereford, a sister-in-law of Thomas S. Hereford; they spent 
many years together at Lake Vineyard, where he became one 
of the leading producers of good wine, and west of which he 
planted some twenty-five or thirty thousand raisin grape 
cuttings, and ten or twelve hundred orange trees, thus founding 
Oak Knoll. I shall have occasion to speak of this gentleman 
somewhat later. By the time that I came to know him, Wilson 
had accumulated much real estate, part of his property being a 
residence on Alameda Street, corner of Macy; but after a 
while he moved to one of his larger estates, where stands the 
present Shorb station named for his son-in-law and associate 
J. De Barth Shorb, who also had a place known as Mountain 
Vineyard. Don Benito died in March, 1878. 

Colonel Jonathan Trumbull Warner, master of Warner's 
Ranch, later the property of John G. Downey, and known — 
from his superb stature of over six feet — both as Juan Jose 
Warner and as Juan Largo, "Long John," returned to Los 
Angeles in 1857. Warner had arrived in Southern California, 
on December 5th, 1 831, at the age of twenty-eight, having come 
West, from Connecticut, via Missouri and Salt Lake, partly 
for his health, and partly to secure mules for the Louisiana 
market. Like many others whom I have known, Warner did 
not intend to remain; but illness decided for him, and in 1843 
he settled in San Diego County, near the California border, on 
what (later known as Warner's Ranch) was to become, with its 
trail from old Sonora, historic ground. There, during the 
fourteen years of his occupancy, some of the most stirring 
episodes of the Mexican War occurred ; during one of which — 
Ensign Espinosa's attack — Don Juan having objected to the 
forcible searching of his house, he had his arm broken. There, 
also, Antonio Garra and his lawless band made their assault, 
and were repulsed by Long John, who escaped on horseback, 
leaving in his wake four or five dead Indians. For this, and 

I70 Sixty Years in Southern California [1855 

not for military service, Warner was dubbed Colonel ; nor was 
there anyone who cared to dispute his right to the title. In 
1837, Juan married Miss Anita Gale, an adopted daughter of 
Don Pio Pico, and came to Los Angeles ; but the following year, 
Mrs. Warner died. Warner once ran against E. J. C. Kewen 
for the Legislature but, after an exceedingly bitter campaign, 
was beaten. In 1874 Warner was a notary public and Span- 
ish-English interpreter. For many years his home was in an 
orchard occupying the site of the Burbank Theater on Main 
Street. Warner was a man of character and lived to a venerable 
age; and after a decidedly arduous life he had more than his 
share of responsibility and affliction, even losing his sight 
in his declining years. 

William Wolf skill, who died on October 3d, 1866, was another 
pioneer well-established long before I had even thought of Cal- 
ifornia. Born in Kentucky at the end of the Eighteenth Cen- 
tury — of a family originally of Teutonic stock (if we may credit 
a high German authority) traced back to a favorite soldier of 
Frederick the Great — Wolf skill in 1830 came to Los Angeles, 
for a short time, with Ewing Young, the noted beaver-trapper. 
Then he acquired several leagues of land in Yolo and Solano 
counties, sharing what he had with his brothers, John and Mateo. 
Later he sold out, returned to Los Angeles, and bought and 
stocked the rancho Lomas de Santiago, which he afterward dis- 
posed of to Flint , Bixby & Company . He also bought of Corbitt, 
Dibblee & Barker the Santa Anita raticho (comprising between 
nine and ten thousand acres), and some twelve thousand be- 
sides; the Santa Anita he gave to his son, Louis, who later sold 
it for eighty-five thousand dollars. Besides this, Wolfskill ac- 
quired title to a part of the rancho San Francisquito, on which 
Newhall stands, disposing of that, however, during the first oil 
excitement, to the Philadelphia Oil Company, at seventy -five 
cents an acre — a good price at that time. Before making these 
successful realty experiments, this hero of desert hardships had 
assisted to build, soon after his arrival here, one of the first ves- 
sels ever constructed and launched in California — a schooner 
fitted out at San Pedro to hunt for sea otter. In January, 1 84 1 , 

1855] Princely Rancho Domains 171 

Wolfskin married Dona Magdalena Lugo, daughter of Don Jose 
Ygnacio Lugo, of Santa Barbara. A daughter, Sefiorita Magda- 
lena, in 1865 married Frank Sabichi, a native of Los Angeles, 
who first saw the light of day in 1842. Sabichi, by the way, 
always a man of importance in this community, is the son 
of Mateo and Josefa Franco Sabichi (the mother, a sister 
of Antonio Franco Coronel), buried at San Gabriel Mission. 
J. E. Pleasants, to whom I elsewhere refer, first made a 
good start when he formed a partnership with Wolfskill in a 
cattle deal. 

Concerning Mateo, I recall an interesting illustration of 
early fiscal operations. He deposited thirty thousand dollars 
with S. Lazard & Company and left it there so long that they 
began to think he would never come back for it. He did return, 
however, after many years, when he presented a certificate of 
deposit and withdrew the money. This transaction bore no 
interest, as was often the case in former days. People de- 
posited money with friends in whom they had confidence, not 
for the purpose of profit but simply for safety. 

Elijah T. Moulton, a Canadian, was one of the few pioneers 
who preceded the Forty-niners and was permitted to see Los 
Angeles well on its way toward metropolitan standing. In 
1844 he had joined an expedition to California organized by 
Jim Bridger; and having reached the Western country, he 
volunteered to serve under Fremont in the Mexican campaign. 
There the hardships which Moulton endured were far severer 
than those which tested the grit of the average emigrant ; and 
Moulton in better days often told how, when nearly driven to 
starvation, he and a comrade had actually used a remnant of 
the Stars and Stripes as a seine with which to fish, and so saved 
their lives. About 1850, Moulton was Deputy Sheriff under 
George T. Burrill; then he went to work for Don Louis Vignes. 
Soon afterward, he bought some land near William Wolfskill's, 
and in 1855 took charge of Wolfskill's property. This resulted 
in his marriage to one of Wolfskill's daughters, who died in 
1 86 1. In the meantime, he had acquired a hundred and fifty 
acres or more in what is now East Los Angeles, and was thus 

172 Sixty Years in Southern California [1855 

one of the first to settle in that section. He had a dairy, for a 
while, and peddled milk from a can or two carried in a wagon. 
Afterward, Moulton became a member of the City Council. 

William Workman and John Rowland, father of William 
or Billy Rowland, resided in 1853 on La Puente rancho, which 
was granted them Jiily 22 d, 1845, some four years after they had 
arrived in California. They were leaders of a party from New 
Mexico, of which B. D. Wilson, Lemuel Carpenter and others 
were members; and the year following they operated with Pico 
against Micheltorena and Sutter, Workman serving as Captain, 
and Rowland as Lieutenant, of a company of volunteers they 
had organized. The ranch, situated about twenty miles east of 
Los Angeles, consisted of nearly forty -nine thousand acres, 
and had one of the first brick residences erected in this neigh- 
borhood. Full title to this splendid estate was confirmed by the 
United States Government in April, 1867, a couple of years 
before Workman and Rowland, with the assistance of Cameron 
E. Thom, divided their property. Rowland, who in 1851 was 
supposed to own some twenty-nine thousand acres and about 
seventy thousand dollars' worth of personal property, further 
partitioned his estate, three or four years before his death in 
1873, among his nearest of kin, giving to each heir about three 
thousand acres of land and a thousand head of cattle. One 
of these heirs, the wife of General Charles Forman, is the half- 
sister of Billy Rowland by a second marriage. 

John Reed, Rowland's son-in-law, was also a large land- 
proprietor. Reed had fallen in with Rowland in New Mexico, 
and while there married Rowland's daughter, Nieves ; and when 
Rowland started for California, Reed came with him and 
together they entered into ranching at La Puente, finding 
artesian water there, in 1859. Thirteen years before, Reed 
was in the American army and took part in the battles fought 
on the march from San Diego to Los Angeles. After his death 
on the ranch in 1874, his old homestead came into possession 
of John Rowland's son, William, who often resided there; and 
Rowland, later discovering oil on his land, organized the Puente 
Oil Company. 

iSssl Princely Rancho Domains 173 

Juan Forster, an Englishman, possessed the Santa Mar- 
garita rancho, which he had taken up in 1864, some years 
after he married Dona Ysidora Pico. She was a sister of Pio 
and Andres Pico, and there, as a result of that alliance, General 
Pico found a safe retreat while fleeing from Fremont into Lower 
California. Forster for a while was a seaman out of San Pedro. 
When he went to San Juan Capistrano, where he became a 
sort of local Alcalde and was often called Don San Juan or even 
San Juan Capistrano, he experimented with raising stock and 
became so successful as a ranchero that he remained there 
twenty years, during which time he acquired a couple of other 
ranches, in San Diego and Los Angeles counties, comprising 
quite sixty thousand acres. Forster, however, was compara- 
tively land-poor, as may be inferred from the fact that even 
though the owner of such a princely territory, he was assessed 
in 1 85 1 on but thirteen thousand dollars in personal property. 
Later Don Juan lorded it over twice as much land in the 
ranches of Santa Margarita and Las Flores. His fourth son, 
a namesake, married Senorita Josefa del Valle, daughter of Don 
Ygnacio del Valle. 

Manuel, Pedro, Nasario and Victoria Dominguez owned in 
the neighborhood of forty-eight thousand acres of the choicest 
land in the South. More than a century ago, Juan Jose 
Dominguez received from the King of Spain ten or eleven 
leagues of land, known as the Rancho de San Pedro; and this 
was given by Governor de Sola, after Juan Jose's death in 1822, 
to his brother, Don Cristobal Dominguez, a Spanish officer. 
Don Cristobal married a Mexican commissioner's daugh- 
ter, and one of their ten children was Manuel, who, educated 
by wide reading and fortunate in a genial temperament and 
high standard of honor, became an esteemed and popular 
officer under the Mexican regime, displaying no little chivalry 
in the battle of Dominguez fought on his own property. On the 
death of his father, Don Manuel took charge of the Rancho de 
San Pedro (buying out his sister Victoria's interest of twelve 
thousand acres, at fifty cents an acre) until in 1855 it was 
partitioned between himself, his brother, Don Pedro and two 

174 Sixty Years in Southern California [185s 

nephews, Jose Antonio Aguirre and Jacinto Rocha. One daugh- 
ter, Victoria, married George Carson in 1857. At his death, in 
1882, Dominguez bequeathed to his heirs twenty odd thousand 
acres, including Rattlesnake Island in San Pedro Bay. James A. 
Watson, an early-comer, married a second daughter; John F. 
Francis married a third, and Dr. del Amo married a fourth. 

Henry Dalton, who came here sometime before 1845, 
having been a merchant in Peru, owned the Azusa Ranch of 
over four thousand acres, the patent to which was finally issued 
in 1876, and also part of the San Francisquito Ranch of eight 
thousand acres, allowed him somewhat later. Besides these, 
he had an interest, with Ygnacio Palomares and Ricardo Vejar, 
in the San Jose rancho of nearly tweaty-seven thousand acres. 
As early as the twenty-first of IVIay, 1851, Dalton, with keen 
foresight, seems to have published a plan for the subdivision of 
nine or ten thousand acres into lots to suit limited ranchers ; but 
it was some time before Duarte and other places, now on the 
above-mentioned estates, arose from his dream. On a part of his 
property, Azusa, a town of the Boom period, was founded some 
twenty-two miles from Los Angeles, and seven or eight hundred 
feet up the Azusa slope ; and now other towns also flourish near 
these attractive foothills. One of Dalton's daughters was 
given in marriage to Louis, a son of William Wolfskill. Dal- 
ton's brother, George, I have already mentioned as having Hke- 
wise settled here. 

Of all these worthy dons, possessing vast landed estates, 
Don Antonio Maria Lugo, brother of Ygnacio Lugo, was one of 
the most affluent and venerable. He owned the San Antonio 
rancho, named I presume after him; and in 1856, when he 
celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday, was reputed to be the 
owner of fully twenty-nine thousand acres and personal 
property to the extent of seventy-two thousand dollars. Three 
sons, Jose Maria, Jose del Carmen and Vicente Lugo, as early 
as 1842 also acquired in their own names about thirty-seven 
thousand acres. 

Louis Robidoux, a French- American of superior ability who, 
like many others, had gone through much that was exciting 

Louis Robidouz 

Julius G. Weyse 

John Behn 

Louis Breer 

William J. Brodrick 

Isaac R. Dunkelberger 

Frank J. Carpenter 

Augustus Ulyard 

1855] Princely Rancho Domains 175 

and unpleasant to establish himself in this wild, open country, 
eventually had an immense estate known as the Jurupa rancho^ 
from which on September 26th, 1846, during the Mexican War, 
B. D. Wilson and others rode forth to be neatly trapped and 
captured at the Chino; and where the outlaw Irving later 
encamped. Riverside occupies a site on this land; and the 
famous Robidoux hill, usually spoken of as the Roubidoux 
mountain, once a part of Louis's ranch and to-day a Mecca for 
thousands of tourists, was named after him. 

Many of the rancheros kept little ranch stores, from which 
they sold to their employees. This was rather for convenience 
than for profit. When their help came to Los Angeles, they 
generally got drunk and stayed away from work longer than 
the allotted time; and it was to prevent this, as far as possible, 
that these outlying stores were conducted. 

Louis Robidoux maintained such a store for the accommo- 
dation of his hands, and often came to town, sometimes for 
several days, on which occasions he would buy very liberally 
anything that happened to take his fancy. In this respect he 
occasionally acted without good judgment, and if opposed would 
become all the more determined. Not infrequently he called 
for so large a supply of some article that I was constrained to 
remark that he could not possibly need so much ; whereupon he 
would repeat the order with angry emphasis. I sometimes 
visited his ranch and recall, in particular, one stay of two or 
three days there in 1857 when, after an unusually large pur- 
chase, Robidoux asked me to assist him in checking up the in- 
voices. The cases were unpacked in his ranchhouse; and I 
have never forgotten the amusing picture of the numerous little 
Robidoux, digging and delving among the assorted goods for 
all the prizes they could find, and thus rendering the process of 
listing the goods much more difficult. When the delivery had 
been found correct, Robidoux turned to his Mexican wife and 
asked her to bring the money. She went to the side of the room, 
opened a Chinese trunk such as every well-to-do Mexican f amiily 
had (and sometimes as many as half a dozen) , and drew there- 
from the customary buckskin, from which she extracted the 

176 Sixty Years in Southern California [1855 

reqmred and rather large amount. These trunks were made of 
cedar, were gaudily painted, and had the quality of keeping 
out moths. They were, therefore, displayed with pride by the 
owners. Recently on turning the pages of some ledgers in 
which Newmark, Kremer & Company carried the account of 
this famous rancher o, I was interested to find there full con- 
firmation of what I have elsewhere claimed — that the now 
renowned Frenchman spelled the first syllable of his name i?o-, 
and not R11-, nor yet Ron-, as it is generally recorded in books 
and newspapers. 

I should refrain from mentioning a circumstance or two in 
Robidoux's life with which I am familiar but for the fact that 
I believe posterity is ever curious to know the little failings as 
well as the pronounced virtues of men who, through exceptional 
personality or association, have become historic characters; 
and that some knowledge of their foibles should not tarnish 
their reputation. Robidoux, as I have remarked, came to town 
very frequently, and when again he found himself amid livelier 
scenes and congenial fellows, as in the late fifties, he always 
celebrated the occasion with a few intimates, winding up his 
befuddling bouts in the arms of Chris Fluhr, who winked at 
his weakness and good-naturedly tucked him away in one of 
the old-fashioned beds of the Lafayette Hotel, there to remain 
until he was able to transact business. After all, such celebrat- 
ing was then not at all uncommon among the best of Southern 
California people, nor, if gossip may be credited, is it entirely 
unknown to-day. Robert Hornbeck, of Redlands, by the way, 
has sought to perpetuate this pioneer's fame in an illustrated 
volume, Roubidoux's Ranch in the yo's, pubHshed as I am 
closing my story. 

Robidoux's name leads me to recur to early judges and to 
his identification with the first Court of Sessions here, when 
there was such a sparseness even of rancherias. Robidoux then 
lived on his Jurupa domain, and not having been at the meeting 
of township justices which selected himself and Judge Scott 
to sit on the bench, and enjoying but infrequent communica- 
tion with the more peopled districts of Southern California, he 

xSssl Princely Rancho Domains 177 

knew nothing of the outcome of the election until sometime 
after it had been called. More than this, Judge Robidoux never 
actually participated in a sitting of the Court of Sessions until 
four or five weeks after it had been almost daily transacting 
business ! 

Speaking of ranches, and of the Jurupa in particular, I may 
here reprint an advertisement — a miniature tree and a house 
heading the following announcement in the Southern Calijor- 
nian of June 20th, 1855: 

The Subscriber, being anxious to get away from Swindlers, 
offers for sale one of the very finest ranches, or tracts of land, 
that is to be found in California, known as the Rancho de 
Jurupa, Santa Ana River, in the County of San Bernardino. 

Bernardo Yorba was another great landowner; and I am 
sure that, in the day of his glory, he might have traveled fifty 
to sixty miles in a straight line, touching none but his own 
possessions. His ranches, on one of which Pio Pico hid from 
Santiago Arguello, were delightfully located where now stand 
such places as Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, Westminster, 
Garden Grove and other towns in Orange County — then a 
part of Los Angeles County. 

This leads me to describe a shrewd trick. Schlesinger Cz 
Sherwinsky, traders in general merchandise in 1853, when 
they bought a wagon in San Francisco, brought it here by 
steamer, loaded it with various attractive wares, took it out 
to good-natured and easy-going Bernardo Yorba, and wheedled 
the well-known ranchero into purchasing not only the contents, 
but the wagon, horses and harness as well. Indeed, their in- 
genuity was so well rewarded, that soon after this first lucky 
hit, they repeated their success, to the discomfiture of their 
competitors; and if I am not mistaken, they performed the 
same operation on the old don several times. 

The Verdugo family had an extensive acreage where such 
towns as Glendale now enjoy the benefit of recent suburban 
development. Governor Pedro Pages having granted, as early 
as 1784, some thirty-six thousand acres to Don Jose Maria 

178 Sixty Years in Southern California [1855 

Verdugo, which grant was reaffirmed in 1798, thereby affording 
the basis of a patent issued in 1882, to Juho Verdugo et al, 
although Verdugo died in 1858. To this Verdugo raricho, 
Fremont sent Jesus Pico — the Mexican guide whose life he had 
spared, as he was about to be executed at San Luis Obispo — 
to talk with the Californians and to persuade them to deal 
with Fremont instead of Stockton; and there on February 21st, 
1845, Micheltorena and Castro met. Near there also, still 
later, the celebrated Casa Verdugo entertained for many years 
the epicures of Southern California, becoming one of the best- 
known restaurants for Spanish dishes in the State. Little by 
little, the Verdugo family lost all their property, partly through 
their refusal or inability to pay taxes ; so that by the second 
decade of the Twentieth Century the surviving representa- 
tives, including Victoriano and Guillermo Verdugo, were re- 
duced to poverty. ' 

Recalling Verdugo and his San Rafael Ranch let me add 
that he had thirteen sons, all of whom frequently accompan- 
ied their father to town, especially on election day. On those 
occasions, J. Lancaster Brent, whose political influence with 
the old man was supreme, took the Verdugo party in hand and 
distributed, through the father, fourteen election tickets, on 
which were impressed the names of Brent's candidates. 

Manuel Garfias, County Treasurer a couple of years before 
I came, was another land-baron, owning in his own name some 
thirteen or fourteen thousand acres of the San Pasqual Ranch. 
There, among the picturesque hills and valleys where both 
Pico and Flores had military camps, now flourish the cities 
of Pasadena and South Pasadena, which include the land where 
stood the first house erected on the ranch. It is my impression 
that beautiful Altadena is also on this land. 

Ricardo Vejar, another magnate, had an interest in a wide 
area of rich territory known as the San Jose Ranch. Not less 
than twenty-two thousand acres made up this rancJio which, as 
early as 1837, had been granted by Governor Alvarado to Vejar 

•Julio Chrisostino Vordugo died early in March, 1915, supposed to be about 
one hundred and twelve years old. 

iSssl Princely Rancho Domains 179 

and Ygnacio Palomares who died on November25th, 1 864. Two 
or three years later, Luis Arenas joined the two, and Alvarado 
renewed his grant, tacking on a league or two of San Jose land 
lying to the West and nearer the San Gabriel mountains. 
Arenas, in time, disposed of his interest to Henry Dalton; and 
Dalton joined Vejar in applying to the courts for a partitioning 
of the estate. This division was ordered by the Spanish Alcalde 
six or seven years before my arrival; but Palomares still ob- 
jected to the decision, and the matter dragged along in the 
tribunals many years, the decree finally being set aside by the 
Court. Vejar, who had been assessed in 1851 for thirty-four 
thousand dollars' worth of personal property, sold his share of 
the estate for twenty-nine thousand dollars, in the spring of 
1874. It is a curious fact that not until the San Jose rancho had 
been so cut up that it was not easy to trace it back to the origi- 
nal grantees, did the authorities at Washington finally issue a 
patent to Dalton, Palomares and Vejar for the twenty-two 
thousand acres which originally made up the ranch. 

The Machados, of whom there were several brothers — 
Don Agustin, who died on May 17th, 1865, being the head of 
the family — had title to nearly fourteen thousand acres. 
Their ranch, originally granted to Don Ygnacio Machado in 
1839 and patented in 1873, was known as La Ballona and 
extended from the city limits to the ocean; and there, among 
other stock, in i860, were more than two thousand head of 

The Picos acquired much territory. There were two broth- 
ers — Pio, who as Mexican Governor had had wide supervision 
over land, and Andres, who had fought throughout the San 
Pasqual campaigns until the capitulation at Cahuenga, and 
still later had dashed with spirit across country in pursuit of 
the murderers of Sheriff Barton. Pio Pico alone, in 1851, was 
assessed for twenty-two thousand acres as well as twenty-one 
thousand dollars in personal property. Besides controlling 
various San Fernando ranches (once under B. H. Lancaro's 
management) , Andres Pico possessed La Habra, a ranch of over 
six thousand acres, for which a patent was granted in 1872, and 

i8o Sixty Years in Southern California [1855 

the ranch Los Coyotes, including over forty-eight thousand 
acres, patented three years later; while Pio Pico at one time 
owned the Santa Margarita and Las Flores ra?ichos, and had, 
in addition, some nine thousand acres known as Paso de Bar- 
tolo. In his old age the Governor — who, as long as I knew him, 
had been strangely loose in his business methods, and had bor- 
rowed from everybody — found himself under the necessity of 
obtaining some thirty or forty thousand dollars, even at the 
expense of giving to B. Cohn, W. J. Brodrick and Charles 
Prager, a blanket mortgage covering all of his properties. 
These included the Pico House, the Pico Ranch on the other 
side of the San Gabriel River — the homestead on which has for 
some time been preserved by the ladies of Whittier — and prop- 
erty on Main Street, north of Commercial, besides some other 
holdings. When his note fell due Pico was unable to meet it ; 
and the mortgage was foreclosed. The old man was then left 
practically penniless, a suit at law concerning the interpreta- 
tion of the loan-agreement being decided against him. 

Henry C. Wiley must have arrived very early, as he had 
been in Los Angeles some years before I came. He married 
a daughter of Andres Pico and for a while had charge of his 
San Fernando Ranch. Wiley served, at one time, as Sheriff 
of the County. He died in 1898. 

The rancho Los Nietos or, more properly speaking, perhaps, 
the Santa Gertrudis, than whose soil (watered, as it is, by the 
San Gabriel River) none more fertile can be found in the world, 
included indeed a wide area extending between the Santa Ana 
and San Gabriel rivers, and embracing the ford known as 
Pico Crossing. It was then in possession of the Carpenter 
family, Lemuel Carpenter having bought it from the heirs of 
Manuel Nieto, to whom it had been granted in 1784. Carpen- 
ter came from Missouri to this vicinity as early as 1833, when 
he was but twenty-two years old. For a while, he had a small 
soap-factory on the right bank of the San Gabriel River, after 
which he settled on the ranch ; and there he remained until No- 
vember 6th, 1859, when he committed suicide. Within the bor- 
ders of this ranch to-day lie such places as Downey and Rivera. 

i855] Princely Rancho Domains i8i 

Francisco Sanchez was another early ranchero — probably 
the same who figured so prominently in early San Francisco; 
and it is possible that J. M. Sanchez, to whom, in 1859, was re- 
granted the forty-four hundred acres of the Potrero Grande, 
was his heir. 

There were two large and important landowners, second 
cousins, known as Jose Sepiilveda; the one, Don Jose Andres, 
and the other, Don Jose Loreto. The father of Jose Andres 
was Don Francisco Sepulveda, a Spanish officer to whom the 
San Vicente Ranch had been granted; and Jose Andres, born in 
San Diego in 1804, was the oldest of eleven children. His 
brothers were Fernando, Jose del Carmen, Dolores and Juan 
Maria; and he also had six sisters. To Jose Andres, or Jose as 
he was called, the San Joaquin Ranch was given, an enormous 
tract of land lying between the present Tustin, earlier known 
as Tustin City, and San Juan Capistrano, and running from the 
hills to the sea; while, on the death of Don Francisco, the San 
Vicente Ranch, later bought by Jones and Baker, was left to 
Jose del Carmen, Dolores and Juan Maria. Jose, in addition, 
bought eighteen hundred acres from Jose Antonio Yorba, and 
on this newly-acquired property he built his ranchhouse, al- 
though he and his family may be said to have been more or 
less permanent residents of Los Angeles. Fernando Sepulveda 
married a Verdugo, and through her became proprietor of much 
of the Verdugo rancho. The fact that Jose was so well provided 
for, and that Fernando had come into control of the Verdugo 
acres, made it mutually satisfactory that the San Vicente Ranch 
should have been willed to the other sons. The children of Jose 
Andres included Miguel, Mauricio, Bernabe, Joaquin, Andro- 
nico and Ygnacio, and Francisca, wife of James Thompson, 
Tomasa, wife of Frank Rico, Ramona, wife of Captain Salis- 
bury Haley of the Sea Bird, Ascencion, wife of Tom Mott, and 
Tranquilina. The latter, with Mrs. Mott and Judge Ygnacio, 
are still living here. 

Don Jose Loreto, brother of Juan and Diego Sepulveda, 
father of Mrs. John T. Lanfranco, and a well-known resident 
of Los Angeles County in early days, presided over the destinies 

1 82 Sixty Years in Southern California [1855 

of thirty-one thousand acres in the Palos Verdes rancho, where 
Flores had stationed his soldiers to watch the American ship 
Savannah. Full patent to this land was granted in 1880. 

There being no fences to separate the great ranches, cattle 
roamed at will; nor were the owners seriously concerned, for 
every man had his distinct, registered brand and in proper 
season the various herds were segregated by means of rodeos, 
or round-ups of strayed or mixed cattle. On such occasions, 
all of the rancheros within a certain radius drove their herds 
little by little into a corral designated for the purpose, and each 
selected his own cattle according to brand. After segregation 
had thus been effected, they were driven from the corral, 
followed by the calves, which were also branded, in anticipation 
of the next rodeo. 

Such round-ups were great events, for they brought all the 
rancheros and vaqiieros together. They became the raison d'etre 
of elaborate celebrations, sometimes including horse-races, bull- 
fights and other amusements ; and this was the case particularly 
in 1861, because of the rains and consequent excellent season. 

The enormous herds of cattle gathered at rodeos remind me, 
in fact, of a danger that the rancheros were obliged to contend 
with, especially when driving their stock from place to place: 
Indians stampeded the cattle, whenever possible, so that in the 
confusion those escaping the vaqiieros and straggling behind 
might the more easily be driven to the Indian camps; and 
sometimes covetous ranchmen caused a similar commotion 
among the stock in order to make thieving easier. 

While writing of ranches, one bordering on the other, un- 
fenced and open, and the enormous number of horses and 
cattle, as well as men required to take care of such an 
amount of stock, I must not forget to mention an institution 
that had flourished, as a branch of the judiciary, in palmier 
Mexican days, though it was on the wane when I arrived here. 
This was the Judgeship of the Plains, an office charged directly 
with the interests of the ranchman. Judges of the Plains were 
officials delegated to arrange for the rodeos, and to hold informal 
court, in the saddle or on the open hillside, in order to settle 

i855] Princely Rancho Domains 183 

disputes among, and dispense justice to, those living and work- 
ing beyond the pales of the towns. Under Mexican rule, a 
Judge of the Plains, who was more or less a law unto himself, 
served for glory and dignity (much as does an English Justice 
of the Peace) ; and the latter factor was an important part of the 
stipulation, as we may gather from a story told by early Ange- 
lenos of the impeachment of Don Antonio Maria Lugo. Don 
Antonio was then a Judge of the Plains, and as such was 
charged with having, while on horseback, nearly trampled upon 
Pedro Sanchez, for no other reason than that poor Pedro had 
refused to "uncover" while the Judge rode by, and to keep his 
hat off until his Honor was unmistakably out of sight! When, 
at length, Americans took possession of Southern California, 
Judges of the Plains were given less power, and provision was 
made, for the first time, for a modest honorarium in return for 
their travel and work. 

For nearly a couple of decades after the organization of Los 
Angeles under the incoming white pioneers, not very much was 
known of the vast districts inland and adjacent to Southern 
California; and one can well understand the interest felt by 
our citizens on July 17th, 1855, when Colonel Washington, of the 
United States Surveying Expedition to the Rio Colorado, put 
up at the Bella Linion on his way to San Francisco. He was 
bombarded v/ith questions about the region lying between the 
San Bernardino Mountain range and the Colorado, hitherto 
unexplored; and being a good talker, readily responded with 
much entertaining information. 

In July, 1855, I attained my majority and, having by this 
time a fair command of English, I took a more active part in 
social affairs. Before he married Margarita, daughter of Juan 
Bandini, Dr. J. B. Winston, then interested in the Bella Union, 
organized most of the dances, and I was one of his committee 
of arrangements. We would collect from the young men of our 
acquaintance money enough to pay for candles and music ; for 
each musician — playing either a harp, a guitar or a flute — 
charged from a dollar to a dollar and a half for his services. 
Formal social events occurred in the evening of almost any day 

1 84 Sixty Years in Southern California IiSss 

of the week. Whenever Dr. Winston or the young gallants 
of that period thought it was time to have a dance, they just 
passed around the hat for the necessary funds, and announced 
the affair. Ladies were escorted to functions, although we did 
not take them in carriages or other vehicles but tramped 
through the dust or mud. Young ladies, however, did not 
go out with gentlemen unless they were accompanied by a 
chaperon, generally some antiquated female member of the 

These hops usually took place at the residence of Widow 
Blair, opposite the Bella Union and north of the present Post 
Office. There we could have a sitting-room, possibly eighteen 
by thirty feet square ; and while this was larger than any other 
room in a private house in town, it will be realized that, after 
all, the space for dancing was very limited. We made the 
best, however, of what we had ; the refreshments, at these impro- 
vised affairs, were rarely more than lemonade and olla water. 

Many times such dances followed as a natural termination 
to another social observance, transmitted to us, I have no doubt, 
by the romantic Spanish settlers here, and very popular for 
some time after I came. This good old custom was serenading. 
We would collect money, as if for dancing; and in the even- 
ing a company of young men and chaperoned young ladies 
would proceed in a body to some popular girl's home where, 
with innocent gallantry, the little band would serenade her. 
After that, of course, we were always glad to accept an 
invitation to come into the house, when the ladies of the house- 
hold sometimes regaled us with a bit of cake and wine. 

Speaking of the social life of those early days, when 
warm, stimulating friendships and the lack of all foolish caste 
distinctions rendered the occasions delightfully pleasant, 
may it not be well to ask whether the contrast between 
those simple, inexpensive pleasures, and the elaborate and 
extravagant demands of modern society, is not worth sober 
thought? To be sure, Los Angeles then was exceedingly small, 
and pioneers here were much like a large family in plain, un- 
pretentious circumstances. There were no such ceremonies 

i855] Princely Rancho Domains 185 

as now; there were no four hundred, no three hundred, nor 
even one hundred. There was, for example, no flunky at the 
door to receive the visitor's card ; and for the very good reason 
that visiting cards were unknown. In those pastoral, pueblo 
days it was no indiscretion for a friend to walk into an- 
other friend's house without knocking. Society of the early 
days could be divided, I suppose, into two classes: the respect- 
able and the evil element; and people who were honorable 
came together because they esteemed each other and liked one 
another's company. The "gold fish" of the present age had 
not yet developed. We enjoyed ourselves together, and without 
distinction were ready to fight to the last ditch for the protec- 
tion of our families and the preservation of our homes. 

In the fall of 1855, Dr. Thomas J. White, a native of St. 
Louis and Speaker of the Assembly in the first California 
Legislature convened at San Jose, in December, 1849, arrived 
from San Francisco with his wife and two daughters, and 
bought a vineyard next to Dr. Hoover's ten-acre place where, 
in three or four years, he became one of the leading wine- 
producers. Their advent created quite a stir, and the house, 
which was a fine and rather commodious one for the times, soon 
became the scene of extensive entertainments. The addition 
of this highly-accomplished family was indeed quite an 
accession to our social ranks. Their hospitality compared 
favorably even with California's open-handed and open- 
hearted spirit, and soon became notable. Their evening parties 
and other receptions were both frequent and lavish, so that the 
Whites quickly took rank as leaders in Los Angeles. While 
yet in Sacramento, one of the daughters, who had fallen in love 
with E. J. C. Kewen when the latter was a member of the 
White party in crossing the great Plains, married the Colonel; 
and in 1862, another daughter. Miss Jennie, married Judge 
Murray Morrison. A son was T. Jeff White, who named his 
place Casalinda. In the late fifties. Dr. White had a drug-store 
in the Temple Building on Main Street. 

It was long before Los Angeles had anything like a regular 
theater, or even enjoyed such shows as were provided by 

i86 Sixty Years in Southern California [1855 

itinerant companies, some of which, when they did begin to 
come, stayed here for weeks; although I remember having 
heard of one ambitious group of players styling themselves 
The Rough and Ready Theater, who appeared here very early 
and gave sufficient satisfaction to elicit the testimony from a 
local scribe, that "when Richmond was conquered and laid 
off for dead, the enthusiastic auditors gave the King a smile of 
decided approval!" Minstrels and circuses were occasionally 
presented, a minstrel performance taking place sometime in the 
fifties, in an empty store on Aliso Street, near Los Angeles. 
About the only feature of this event that is now clear in my 
memory is that Bob Carsley, played the bones; he remained 
in Los Angeles and married, later taking charge of the foundry 
which Stearns established when he built his Arcadia Block on 
Los Angeles Street. An Albino also was once brought to Los 
Angeles and publicly exhibited; and since anything out of the 
ordinary challenged attention, everybody went to see a curiosity 
that to-day would attract but little notice. Speaking of theatri- 
cal performances and the applause bestowed upon favorites, 
I must not forget to mention the reckless use of money and the 
custom, at first quite astounding to me, of throwing coins — 
often large, shining slugs — upon the stage or floor, if an actor 
or actress particularly pleased the spendthrift patron. 

In October, 1855, William Abbott, who was one of the 
many to come to Los Angeles in 1853, and who had brought 
with him a small stock of furniture, started a store in a little 
wooden house he had acquired on a lot next to that which 
later became the site of the Pico House. Abbott married 
Dofia Merced Garcia; and good fortune favoring him, he not 
only gradually enlarged his stock of goods, but built a more 
commodious building, in the upper story of which was the 
Merced Theater, named after Abbott's wife, and opened in the 
late sixties. The vanity of things mundane is well illustrated 
in the degeneration of this center of early histrionic effort, 
which entered a period of decay in the beginning of the eighties 
and, as the scene of disreputable dances, before 1890 had 
been pronounced a nuisance. 

1855] Princely Rancho Domains 187 

During the first decade under the American regime, Los 
Angeles gradually learned the value of reaching toward the 
outside world and welcoming all who responded. In 1855, as 
I have said, a brisk trade was begun with Salt Lake, through 
the opening up of a route — leading along the old Spanish 
trail to Santa Fe. Banning & Alexander, with their usual enter- 
prise, together with W. T. B. Sanford, made the first shipment 
in a heavily-freighted train of fifteen wagons drawn by one 
hundred and fifty mules. The train, which carried thirty tons, 
was gone four months; having left Los Angeles in May, it re- 
turned in September. In every respect the experiment was 
a success, and naturally the new route had a beneficial effect 
on Southern California trade. It also contributed to the de- 
velopment of San Bernardino, through which town it passed. 
Before the year was out, one or two express companies were 
placarding the stores here with announcements of rates "To 
Great Salt Lake City." Banning, by the way, then purchased 
in Salt Lake the best wagons he had, and brought here some 
of the first vehicles with spokes to be seen in Los Angeles. 

The school authorities of the past sometimes sailed on waters 
as troubled as those rocking the Educational Boards to-day. I 
recall an amusing incident of the middle fifties, when a new 
set of Trustees, having succeeded to the control of affairs, 
were scandalized, or at least pretended to be, by an action 
of their predecessors, and immediately adopted the following 
resolution : 

Resolved, that page seven of the vSchool Commissioners' 
Record be pasted down on page eight, so that the indecorous 
language written therein by the School Commissioners of 1855, 
can never again be read or seen, said language being couched 
in such terms that the present School Commissioners are not 
willing to read such record. 

Richard Laugh in died at his vineyard, on the east side of 
Alameda Street, in or soon after 1855. Like William Wolf skill, 
Ewing Young — who fitted out the Wolf skill party — and Moses 
Carson, brother of the better-known Kit and at one time a 

i88 Sixty Years in Southern California [iSssl 

trader at San Pedro, Laughlin was a trapper who made his way 
to Los Angeles along the Gila River. This was a waterway 
of the savage Apache country traversed even in 1854 — 
according to the lone ferryman's statistics — by nearly ten 
thousand persons. In middle life, Laughlin supported himself 
by carpentry and hunting. 

With the increase in the number and activity of the Chinese 
in California, the prejudice of the masses was stirred up vio- 
lently. This feeling found expression particularly in 1 855, when 
a law was passed by the Legislature, imposing a fine of fifty 
dollars on each owner or master of a vessel bringing to Califor- 
nia anyone incapable of becoming a citizen ; but when suit was 
instituted, to test the act's vaHdity, it was declared un- 
constitutional. At that time, most of the opposition to the 
Chinese came from San Franciscans, there being but few coolies 

Certain members of the same Legislature led a movement 
to form a new State, to be called Colorado and to include all 
the territory south of San Luis Obispo; and the matter was 
repeatedly discussed in several subsequent sessions. Nothing 
came of it, however; but Kern County was formed, in 1866, 
partly from Los Angeles County and partly from Tulare. 
About five thousand square miles, formerly under our County 
banner, were thus legislated away; and because the mountain- 
ous and desert area seemed of little prospective value, we sub- 
mitted willingly. In this manner, unenlightened by modern 
science and ignorant of future possibilities, Southern Cali- 
fornia, guided by no clear and certain vision, drifted and 
stumbled along to its destiny. 

f^ -s 

M a 
a o 

< £ 

Myer J. Newmark 

Edward J. C. Kewen 

Dr. John S. Griflin 

William C. Warren 



DURING 1856, I dissolved with my partners, Rich and 
Laventhal, and went into business with m^^ uncle, 
Joseph Newmark, J. P. Newmark and Maurice 
Kremer, under the title of Newmark, Kremer & Company. 
Instead of a quasi wholesale business, we now had a larger 
assortment and did more of a retail business. We occupied a 
room, about forty by eighty feet in size, in the Mascarel and 
Barri block on the south side of Commercial Street (then 
known as Commercial Row), between Main and Los Angeles 
streets, our modest establishment being almost directly oppo- 
site the contracted quarters of my first store and having the 
largest single storeroom then in the city; and there we con- 
tinued with moderate success, until 1858. 

To make this new partnership possible, Kremer had sold 
out his interest in the firm of Lazard & Kremer, dry goods 
merchants, the readjustment providing an amusing illustration 
of the manner in which business, with its almost entire lack of 
specialization, was then conducted. When the stock was taken, 
a large part of it consisted, not of dry goods, as one might well 
suppose, but of — cigars and tobacco ! 

About the beginning of 1856, Sisters of Charity made their 
first appearance in Los Angeles, following a meeting called by 
Bishop Amat during the preceding month, to provide for their 
coming, when Abel Stearns presided and John G. Downey acted 
as Secretary. Benjamin Hayes, Thomas Foster, Ezra Drown, 


190 Sixty Years in Southern California [1856 

Louis Vignes, Ygnacio del Valle and Antonio Coronel co- 
operated, while Manuel Requena collected the necessary funds. 
On January 5th, Sisters Maria Scholastica, Maria Corzina, 
Ana, Clara, Francisca and Angela arrived — three of them 
coming almost directly from Spain; and immediately they 
formed an important adjunct to the Church in matters per- 
taining to religion, charity and education. It was to them that 
B. D. Wilson sold his Los Angeles home, including ten acres of 
fine orchard, at the corner of Alameda and Macy streets, for 
eight thousand dollars ; and there for many years they conducted 
their school, the Institute and Orphan Asylum, until they sold 
the property to J. M. Griffith, who used the site for a lumber- 
yard. Griffith, in turn, disposed of it to the Southern Pacific 
Railroad Company. Sister Scholastica, who celebrated in 
1889 her fiftieth anniversary as a sister, was long the Mother 

The so-called First Public School having met with popular 
approval, the Board of Education in 1856 opened another 
school on Bath Street. The building, two stories in height, was 
of brick and had two rooms. 

On January 9th, John P. Brodie assumed charge of the 
Southern Calif ornian. Andres Pico was then proprietor; and 
before the newspaper died, in .1857, Pico lost, it is said, ten 
thousand dollars in the venture. 

The first regular course of public lectures here was given in 
1856 under the auspices of a society known as the Mechanics* 
Institute, and in one of Henry Dalton's corrugated iron 

George T. Burrill, first County Sheriff, died on February 
2d, his demise bringing to mind an interesting story. He was 
Sheriff, in the summer of 1850, when certain members of 
the infamous Irving party were arraigned for murder, and 
during that time received private word that many of the 
prisoners' friends would pack the little court room and attempt 
a rescue. Burrill, however, who used to wear a sword and had 
a rather soldierly bearing, was equal to the emergency. He 
quickly sent to Major E. H. Fitzgerald and had the latter 

1856] Orchards and Vineyards 191 

come post-haste to town and court with a detachment of 
soldiers; and with this superior, discipHned force he overawed 
the bandits' companeros who, sure enough, were there and fully- 
armed to make a demonstration, 

Thomas E. Rowan arrived here with his father, James 
Rowan, in 1856, and together they opened a bakery. Tom 
delivered the bread for a short time, but soon abandoned that 
pursuit for politics, being frequently elected to office, serving 
in turn as Supervisor, City and County Treasurer and even, 
from 1893 to 1894, as Mayor of Los Angeles. Shortly before 
Tom married Miss Josephine Mayerhofer in San Francisco in 
1862 — and a handsome couple they made — the Rowans bought 
from Louis Mesmer the American Bakery, located at the 
southwest corner of Main and First streets and originally 
established by August Ulyard. When James Rowan died 
about forty years ago, Tom fell heir to the bakery; but as he 
was otherwise engaged, he employed Maurice Mauricio as man- 
ager, and P. Galta, afterward a prosperous business man of Bak- 
ersfield, as driver. Tom, who died in 1899, was also associated 
as cashier with L W. Hellman and F. P. F. Temple in their 
bank. Rowan Avenue and Rowan Street were both named 
after this early comer. 

The time for the return of my brother and his European 
bride now approached, and I felt a natural desire to meet 
them. Almost coincident, therefore, with their arrival in San 
Francisco, I was again in that growing city in 1856, although I 
had been there but the year previous. 

On April 9th, occurred the marriage of Matilda, daughter 
of Joseph Newmark, to Maurice Kremer. The ceremony was 
performed by the bride's father. For the subsequent festivities, 
ice, from which ice cream was made, was brought from San 
Bernardino; both luxuries on this occasion being used in Los 
Angeles, as far as I can remember, for the first time. 

To return to the Los Angeles Star. When J. S. Waite 
became Postmaster, in 1855, he found it no sinecure to continue 
even such an unpretentious and, in all likelihood, unprofitable 
news-sheet and at the same time attend to Uncle Sam's mail- 

192 Sixty Years in Southern California [1856 

bags; and early in 1856 he offered "the entire establishment 
at one thousand dollars less than cost." Business was so slow 
at that time, in fact, that Waite — after, perhaps, ruefully look- 
ing over his unpaid subscriptions — announced that he would 
"take wood, butter, eggs, flour, wheat or corn" in payment of 
bills due. He soon found a ready customer in William A. Wal- 
lace, the Principal of the boys' school who, on the twelfth of 
April, bought the paper; but Waite's disgust was nothing to that 
of the schoolteacher who, after two short months' trial with the 
editorial quill, scribbled a last doleful adios. "The flush times 
of the pueblo, the day of large prices and pocket-books, are 
past," Wallace declared; and before him the editor saw "only 
picayunes, bad liquor, rags and universal dullness, when neither 
pistol-shots nor dying groans" could have any effect, and "when 
earthquakes would hardly turn men in their beds!" Nothing 
was left for such a destitute and discouraged quillman "but to 
wait for a caneta and get out of town." Wallace sold the paper, 
therefore, in June, 1856, to Henry Hamilton, a native of Ireland 
who had come to California in 1848 an apprenticed printer, 
and was for some years in newspaper work in San Francisco; 
and Hamilton soon put new life into the journal. 

In 1856, the many-sided Dr. William B. Osburn organized 
a company to bore an artesian well west of the city ; but when 
it reached a depth of over seven hundred feet, the prospectors 
went into bankruptcy. 

George Lehman, early known as George the Baker (whose 
shop at one time was on the site of the Hayward Hotel), was 
a somewhat original and very popular character who, in 1856, 
took over the Round House on Main Street, between Third 
and Fourth, and there opened a pleasure-resort extending to 
Spring Street and known as the Garden of Paradise. The 
grounds really occupied on the one hand what are now the sites 
of the Pridham, the Pinney and the Turnverein, and on the 
other the Henne, the Breed and the Lankershim blocks. There 
was an entrance on Main Street and one, with two picket 
gates, on Spring. From the general shape and appearance of 
the building, it was always one of the first objects in town 

1856] Orchards and Vineyards 193 

to attract attention; and Lehman (who, when he appeared on 
the street, had a crooked cane hanging on his arm and a lemon 
in his hand), came to be known as "Round House George." 
The house had been erected in the late forties by Raimundo, 
generally called Ramon, or Raymond Alexander, a sailor, who 
asserted that the design was a copy of a structure he had once 
seen on the coast of Africa ; and there Ramon and his native 
California wife had lived for many years. Partly because he 
wished to cover the exterior with vines and flowers, Lehman 
nailed boards over the outer adobe walls and thus changed the 
cylinder form into that of an octagon. An ingenious arrange- 
ment of the parterre and a peculiar distribution of some trees, 
together with a profusion of plants and flowers — affording cool 
and shady bowers, somewhat similar to those of a typical beer 
or wine garden of the Fatherland — gave the place great popu- 
larity ; while two heroic statues — one of Adam and the other of 
Eve — with a conglomeration of other curiosities, including the 
Apple Tree and the Serpent — all illustrating the world-old story 
of Eden — and a moving panorama made the Garden unique and 
rather famous. The balcony of the house provided accommo- 
dation for the playing of such music, perhaps discordant, as 
Los Angeles could then produce, and nearby was a frame- 
work containing a kind of swing then popular and known as 
"flying horses." The bar was in the Garden, near a well-sweep; 
and at the Main Street entrance stood a majestic and noted 
cactus tree which was cut down in 1886. The Garden of Par- 
adise was opened toward the end of September, 1858, and so 
large were the grounds that when they were used, in 1876, 
for the Fourth of July celebration, twenty-six hundred people 
were seated there. 

This leads me to say that Arthur McKenzie Dodson, who 
established a coal- and wood-yard at what was later the corner 
of Spring and Sixth streets, started there a little community 
which he called Georgetown — as a compliment, it was said, 
to the famous Round House George whose bakery, I have 
remarked, was located on that corner. 

On June 7th, Dr. John S. Griffin, who had an old fashioned, 

194 Sixty Years in Southern California [1856 

classical education, and was a graduate, in medicine, of the 
University of Pennsylvania, succeeded Dr. William B. Osburn 
as Superintendent of the Los Angeles City Schools. 

In these times of modern irrigation and scientific methods, 
it is hard to realize how disastrous were climatic extremes in an 
earlier day: in 1856, a single electric disturbance, accompanied 
by intense heat and sandstorms, left tens of thousands of dead 
cattle to tell the story of drought and destruction. 

During the summer, I had occasion to go to Fort Tejon to 
see George C. Alexander, a customer, and I again asked Sam 
Meyer if he would accompany me. Such a proposition was 
always agreeable to Sam; and, having procured horses, we 
started, the distance being about one hundred and fifteen miles. 

We left Los Angeles early one afternoon, and made our 
first stop at Lyons's Station, where we put up for the night. 
One of the brothers, after whom the place was named, pre- 
pared supper. Having to draw some thick blackstrap from a 
keg, he used a pitcher to catch the treacle; and as the liquid 
ran very slowly, our sociable host sat down to talk a bit, and 
soon forgot all about what he had started to do. The molas- 
ses, however, although it ran pretty slowly, ran steadily, and 
finally, like the mush in the fairy-tale of the enchanted bowl, 
overflowed the top of the receptacle and spread itself over the 
dirt floor. When Lyons had finished his chat, he saw, to his 
intense chagrin, a new job upon his hands, and one likely to 
busy him for some time. 

Departing next morning at five o'clock we met Cy Lyons, 
who had come to Los Angeles in 1849 and was then engaged 
with his brother Sanford in raising sheep in that neighborhood. 
Cy was on horseback and had two pack animals, loaded with 
provisions. "Hello, boys! where are you bound?" he asked; 
and when we told him that we were on our way to Fort Tejon, 
he said that he was also going there, and volunteered to save 
us forty miles by guiding us over the trail. Such a shortening 
of our journey appealed to us as a good prospect, and we fell 
in behind the mounted guide. 

It was one of those red-hot summer days characteristic of 

i8s6] Orchards and Vineyards 195 

that region and season, and in a couple of hours we began to 
get very thirsty. Noticing this, Cy told us that no water 
would be found until we got to the Rancho de la Liebre, and 
that we could not possibly reach there until evening. Having 
no bota de agiia handy, I took an onion from Lyons's pack and 
ate it, and that afforded me some rehef; but Sam, whose 
decisions were always as lasting as the fragrance of that 
aromatic bulb, would not try the experiment. To make a long 
story short, when we at last reached the ranch, Sam, completely 
fagged out, and unable to alight from his horse, toppled off into 
our arms. The chewing of the onion had refreshed me to some 
extent, but just the same the day's journey proved one of the 
most miserable experiences through which I have ever passed. 

The night was so hot at the ranch that we decided to sleep 
outdoors in one of the wagons; and being worn out with the 
day's exposure and fatigue, we soon fell asleep. The soundness 
of our slumbers did not prevent us from hearing, in the middle 
of the night, a snarling bear, scratching in the immediate 
neighborhood. A bear generally means business; and you may 
depend upon it that neither Sam, myself nor even Cy were 
very long in bundling out of the wagon and making a dash for 
the more protecting house. Early next morning, we recom- 
menced our journey toward Fort Tejon, and reached there 
without any further adventures worth relating. 

Coming back, we stopped for the night at Gordon's Station, 
and the next day rode fully seventy miles — not so inconsider- 
able an accomplishment, perhaps, for those not accustomed to 
regular saddle exercise. 

A few months later, I met Cy on the street. "Harris," 
said he, ' ' do you know that once, on that hot day going to Fort 
Tejon, we were within three hundred feet of a fine, cool spring?" 
"Then why in the devil," I retorted, "didn't you take us to it?" 
To which Cy, with a chuckle, answered: "Well, I just wanted 
to see what would happen to you!" 

My first experience with camp meetings was in the year 
1856, when I attended one in company with Miss Sarah New- 
mark, to whom I was then engaged, and Miss Harriet, her 

196 Sixty Years in Southern California [1856 

sister — later Mrs. Eugene Meyer. I engaged a buggy from 
George Carson's livery stable on Main Street; and we rode to 
Ira Thompson's grove at El Monte, in which the meeting was 
held. These camp meetings supplied a certain amount of social 
attraction to residents, in that good-hearted period when 
creeds formed a bond rather than a hindrance. 

It was in 1856 that, in connection with our regular business, 
we began buying hides. One day a Mexican customer came 
into the store and, looking around, said: "^Compra cueros?" 
(Do you buy hides?) "Si, senor," I replied, to which he then 
said : ''Tengo muchos en mi rancho " (I have many at my ranch). 
"Where do you live?" I asked. "Between Cahuenga and San 
Fernando Mission," he answered. He had come to town in his 
carreta, and added that he would conduct me to his place, if I 
wished to go there. 

I obtained a wagon and, accompanied by Samuel Cohn, 
went with the Mexican. The native jogged on, carreta-isishion, 
the oxen lazily plodding along, while the driver with his 
ubiquitous pole kept them in the road by means of continual 
and effective prods, delivered first on one side, then on the other. 
It was dark when we reached the ranch; and the night being 
balmy, we wrapped ourselves up in blankets, and slept under 
the adobe veranda. 

Early in the morning, I awoke and took a survey of the 
premises. To my amazement, I saw but one little kipskin 
hanging up to dry! When at length my Mexican friend 
appeared on the scene, I asked him where he kept his hides? 
QDonde tiene usted los cueros?) At which he pointed to the 
lone kip and, with a characteristic and perfectly indifferent 
shrug of the shoulders, said: "/iVo tengo mas!'' (I have no 
more !) 

I then deliberated with Sam as to what we should do; 
and having proceeded to San Fernando Mission to collect 
there, if possible, a load of hides, we were soon fortunate 
in obtaining enough to compensate us for our previous trou- 
ble and disappointment. On the way home, we came to a 
rather deep ditch preventing further progress. Being obliged, 

i8s6] Orchards and Vineyards 197 

however, to get to the other side, we decided to throw the 
hides into the ditch, placing one on top of the other, until the 
obstructing gap was filled to a level with the road ; and then 
we drove across, if not on dry land, at least on dry hides, 
which we reloaded onto the wagon. Finally, we reached 
town at a late hour. 

In this connection, I may remind the reader of Dana's 
statement, in his celebrated Two Years before the Mast, that San 
Pedro once furnished more hides than any other port on the 
Coast; and may add that from the same port, more than forty 
years afterward, consignments of this valuable commodity 
were still being made, I myself being engaged more and more 
extensively in the hide trade. 

Colonel Isaac Williams died on September 13th, having 
been a resident of Los Angeles and vicinity nearly a quarter of 
a century. A Pennsylvanian by birth, he had with him in the 
West a brother, Hiram, later of San Bernardino County. 
Happy as was most of Colonel Williams' life, tragedy entered 
his family circle, as I shall show, when both of his sons-in-law, 
John Rains and Robert Carlisle, met violent deaths at the 
hands of others. 

Jean Louis Vignes came to Los Angeles in 1829, and set out 
the Aliso Vineyard of one hundred and four acres which derived 
its name, as did the street, from a previous and incorrect appli- 
cation of the Castilian aliso, meaning alder, to the sycamore 
tree, a big specimen of which stood on the place. This tree, 
possibly a couple of hundred years old, long shaded Vignes' 
wine-cellars, and was finally cut down a few years ago to make 
room for the Philadelphia Brew House. From a spot about 
fifty feet away from the Vignes adobe extended a grape arbor 
perhaps ten feet in width and fully a quarter of a mile long, 
thus reaching to the river; and this arbor was associated with 
many of the early celebrations in Los Angeles. The northern 
boundary of the property was Aliso Street ; its western boundary 
was Alameda ; and part of it was surrounded by a high adobe 
wall, inside of which, during the troubles of the Mexican War, 
Don Louis enjoyed a far safer seclusion than many others. 

198 Sixty Years in Southern California [1856 

On June 7th, 1851, Vignes advertised El Aliso for sale, but it 
was not subdivided until much later, when Eugene Meyer and 
his associates bought it for this purpose. Vignes Street recalls 
the veteran viticulturist. 

While upon the subject of this substantial old pioneer 
family, I may give a rather interesting reminiscence as to the 
state of Aliso Street at this time. I have said that this street 
was the main road from Los Angeles to the San Bernardino 
country; and so it was. But in the fifties, Aliso Street stopped 
very abruptly at the Sainsevain Vineyard, where it narrowed 
down to one of the willow-bordered, picturesque little lanes so 
frequently found here, and paralleled the noted grape-arbor as 
far as the river-bank. At this point, Andrew Boyle and other 
residents of the Heights and beyond were wont to cross the 
stream on their way to and from town. The more important 
travel was by means of another lane known as the Aliso Road, 
turning at a corner occupied by the old AHso Mill and winding 
along the Hoover Vineyard to the river. Along this route the 
San Bernardino stage rolled noisily, traversing in summer or 
during a poor season what was an almost dry wash, but encoun- 
tering in wet winter raging torrents so impassable that all inter- 
course with the settlements to the east was disturbed. For 
a whole week, on several occasions, the San Bernardino stage 
was tied up, and once at least Andrew Boyle, before he had 
become conversant with the vagaries of the Los Angeles River, 
found it impossible for the better part of a fortnight to come 
to town for the replenishment of a badly-depleted larder. 
Lovers' Lane, willowed and deep with dust, was a narrow 
road now variously located in the minds of pioneers ; my im- 
pression being that it followed the line of the present Date 
Street, although some insist that it was Macy. 

Pierre Sainsevain, a nephew of Vignes, came in 1839 and 
for a while worked for his uncle. Jean Louis Sainsevain, 
another nephew, arrived in Los Angeles in 1849 or soon after, 
and on April 14th, 1855, purchased for forty-two thousand dol- 
lars the vineyard, cellars and other property of his uncle. 
This was the same year in which he returned to France for 

1856] Orchards and Vineyards 199 

his son Michel and remarried, leaving another son, Paul, in school 
there. Pierre joined his brother; and in 1857 Sainsevain 
Brothers made the first California champagne, first shipping 
their wine to San Francisco. Paul, now a resident of San Diego, 
came to Los Angeles in 1861. The name endures in Sainsevain 

The activity of these Frenchmen reminds me that much 
usually characteristic of country life was present in what was 
called the city of Los Angeles, when I first saw it, as may be 
gathered from the fact that, in 1853, there were a hundred or 
more vineyards hereabouts, seventy-five or eighty of which 
were within the city precincts. These did not include the once 
famous "mother vineyard" of San Gabriel Mission, which the 
padres used to claim had about fifty thousand vines, but which 
had fallen into somewhat picturesque decay. Near San Gabriel, 
however, in 1855, WilHam M. Stockton had a large vineyard 
nursery. William Wolfskill was one of the leading vineyardists, 
having set out his first vine, so it was said, in 1838, when he 
affirmed his belief that the plant, if well cared for, would flour- 
ish a hundred years! Don Jose Serrano, from whom Dr. Leonce 
Hoover bought many of the grapes he needed, did have vines, 
it was declared, that were nearly a century old. When I first 
passed through San Francisco, en route to Los Angeles, I saw 
grapes from this section in the markets of that city bringing 
twenty cents a pound; and to such an extent for a while did 
San Francisco continue to draw on Los Angeles for grapes, that 
Banning shipped thither from San Pedro, in 1857, no less than 
twenty-one thousand crates, averaging forty-five pounds each. 
It was not long, however, before ranches nearer San Francisco 
began to interfere with this monopoly of the South, and, as, a 
consequence, the shipment of grapes from Los Angeles fell off. 
This reminds me that William Wolfskill sent to San Francisco 
some of the first Northern grapes sold there; they were grown 
in a Napa Valley vineyard that he owned in the middle of the 
fifties, and when unloaded on the Long Wharf, three or four 
weeks in advance of Los Angeles grapes, brought at wholesale 
twenty-five dollars per hundred weight ! 

200 Sixty Years in Southern California [1856 

With the dedine in the fresh fruit trade, however, the 
making and exportation of wine increased, and several who 
had not ventured into vineyarding before, now did so, acquiring 
their own land or an interest in the establishments of others. 
By 1857, Jean Louis Vignes boasted of possessing some white 
wine twenty years old — possibly of the same vintage about 
which Dr. Griffin often talked, in his reminiscences of the days 
when he had been an army surgeon; and Louis Wilhart occa- 
sionally sold wine which was little inferior to that of Jean 
Louis. Dr. Hoover was one of the first to make wine for the 
general market, having, for a while, a pretty and well-situated 
place called the Clayton Vineyard ; and old Joseph Huber, who 
had come to California from Kentucky for his health, began in 
1855 to make wine with considerable success. He owned the 
Foster Vineyard, where he died in July, 1866. B. D. Wilson 
was also soon shipping wine to San Francisco. L. J. Rose, who 
first entered the field in January, 1861, at Sunny Slope, not far 
from San Gabriel Mission, was another producer, and had a 
vineyard famous for brandy and wine. He made a departure 
in going to the foothills, and introduced many varieties of 
foreign grapes. By the same year, or somewhat previously, 
Matthew Keller, Stearns & Bell, Dr. Thomas J. White, Dr. 
Parrott, Kiln Messer, Henry Dalton, H. D. Barrows, Juan 
Bernard and Ricardo Vejar had wineries, and John Schumacher 
had a vineyard opposite the site of the City Gardens in the 
late seventies. L. H. Titus, in time, had a vineyard, known as 
the Dewdrop, near that of Rose. Still another wine producer 
was Antonio Maria Lugo, who set out his vines on San Pedro 
Street, near the present Second, and often dwelt in the long 
adobe house where both Steve Foster, Lugo's son-in-law, and 
Mrs. Wallace Woodworth lived, and where I have been many 
times pleasantly entertained. 

Dr. Leonce Hoover, who died on October 8th, 1862, was a 
native of Switzerland and formerly a surgeon in the army 
of Napoleon, when his name — later changed at the time of 
naturalization — ^had been Huber. Dr. Hoover in 1849 came 
to Los Angeles with his wife, his son, Vincent A. Hoover, 

i856] Orchards and Vineyards 201 

then a young man, and two daughters, the whole family- 
traveling by ox-team and prairie schooner. They soon dis- 
covered rich placer gold-beds, but were driven away by hostile 
Indians. A daughter, Mary A., became the wife of Samuel 
Briggs, a New Hampshire Yankee, who was for years Wells 
Fargo 's agent here. For a while the Hoovers lived on the 
Wolfskin Ranch, after which they had a vineyard in the neigh- 
borhood of what is now the property of the Cudahy Packing 
Company. Vincent Hoover was a man of prominence in his 
time; he died in 1883. Mrs. Briggs, whose daughter married 
the well-known physician. Dr. Granville MacGowan, sold 
her home, on Broadway between Third and Fourth streets, 
to Homer Laughlin when he erected the Laughlin Building. 
Hoover Street is named for this family. 

Accompanied by his son William, Joseph Huber, Sr., in 
1855 came to Los Angeles from Kentucky, hoping to improve his 
health; and v^hen the other members of his family, consisting 
of his wife and children, Caroline, Emeline, Edward and 
Joseph, followed him here, in 1859, by way of New York and the 
Isthmus, they found him settled as a vineyardist, occupying 
the Foster property running from Alameda Street to the river, 
in a section between Second and Sixth streets. The advent of 
a group of young people, so well qualified to add to what has 
truthfully been described by old-time Angel eiios as our family 
circle, was hailed with a great deal of interest and satisfaction. 
In time, Miss Emeline Huber was married to O. W. Childs, and 
Miss Caroline was wedded to Dr. Frederick Preston Howard, a 
druggist who, more than forty years ago, bought out Theodore 
Wollweber, selling the business back to the latter a few years 
later. The prominence of this family made it comparatively 
easy for Joseph Huber, Jr., in 1865, to secure the nomination 
and be elected County Treasurer, succeeding M. Kremer, who 
had served six years. Huber, Sr., died about the middle sixties. 
Mrs. Huber lived to be eighty-three years old. 

Jose de Rubio had at least two vineyards when I came — 
one on Alameda Street, south of Wolfskin's and not far from 
Coronel's, and one on the east side of the river. Rubio came 

202 Sixty Years in Southern California [1856 

here very early in the century, after having married Juana, a 
daughter of Juan Maria Miron, a well-known sea captain, and 
built three adobe houses. The first of these was on the site of 
the present home of William H. Workman, on Boyle Heights; 
the second was near what was later the corner of Alameda and 
Eighth streets, and the third was on Alameda Street near the 
present Vernon Avenue. One of his ranches was known as 
" Rdbio's," and there many a barbecue was celebrated. In 1859, 
Riibio leased the Sepulveda Landing, at San Pedro, and com- 
menced to haul freight, to and fro. Senor and Sehora Rubio' 
had twenty-five children, of whom five are now living. An- 
other Los Angeles vineyardist who lived near the river when I 
came was a Frenchman named Clemente. 

Julius Weyse also had a vineyard, living on what is now 
Eighth Street near San Pedro. A son, H. G. Weyse, has distin- 
guished himself as an attorney and has served in the Legislature; 
another, Otto G., married the widow of Edward Naud, while a 
third son, Rudolf G., married a daughter of H. D. Barrows. 

The Reyes family was prominent here; a daughter married 
William Nordholt. Ysidro had a vineyard on Washington 
Street; and during one of the epidemics, he died of smallpox. 
His brother, Pablo, was a rancher. 

While on the subject of vineyards, I may describe the 
method by which wine was made here in the early days and the 
part taken in the industry by the Indians, who always in- 
terested and astounded me. Stripped to the skin, and wearing 
only loin-cloths, they tramped with ceaseless tread from morn 
till night, pressing from the luscious fruit of the vineyard the 
juice so soon to ferment into wine. The grapes were placed in 
elevated vats from which the liquid ran into other connecting 
vessels; and the process exhaled a stale acidity, scenting the 
surrounding air. These Indians were employed in the early 
fall, the season of the year when wine is made and when the 
thermometer as a rule, in Southern California, reaches its 

' Senora de Rubio survived her husband many years, dying on October 27th, 
19 14, at the age of one hundred and seven, after residing in Los Angeles ninety- 
four years. 

i8s6] Orchards and Vineyards 203 

highest point; and this temperature coupled with incessant 
toil caused the perspiration to drip from their swarthy bodies 
into the wine product, the sight of which in no wise increased 
my appetite for California wine. 

A staple article of food for the Indians in 1856, by the 
way, was the acorn. The crop that year, however, was very 
short; and streams having also failed, in many instances, to 
yield the food usually taken from them, the tribes were in a 
distressed condition. Such were the aborigines' straits, in 
fact, that rancheros were warned of the danger, then greater 
than ever, from Indian depredations on stock. 

In telling of the Sisters of Charity, I have forgotten to add 
that, after settling here, they sent to New York for a portable 
house, which they shipped to Los Angeles by way of Cape 
Horn. In due time, the house arrived ; but imagine their vex- 
ation on discovering that, although the parts were supposed 
to have been marked so that they might easily be joined to- 
gether, no one here could do the work. In the end, the Sisters 
were compelled to send East for a carpenter who, after a long 
interval, arrived and finished the house. 

Soon after the organization of a Masonic lodge here, in 
1854, many of my friends joined, and among them my brother, 
J. P. Newmark, who was admitted on February 26th, 1855, on 
which occasion J. H. Stuart was the Secretary ; and through their 
participation in the celebration of St. John's Day (the twenty- 
fourth of June,) I was seized with a desire to join the order. 
This I did at the end of 1856, becoming a member of Los Angeles 
Lodge No. 42, whose meetings were held over Potter's store on 
Main Street. Worshipful Master Thomas Foster initiated me, 
and on January 22d, 1857, Worshipful Master Jacob Ehas offi- 
ciating, I took the third degree. I am, therefore, in all probabil- 
ity, the oldest living member of this now venerable Masonic 



IN the beginning of 1857, we had a more serious earthquake 
than any in recent years. At half-past eight o'clock on the 
morning of January 9th, a tremor shook the earth from 
North to South; the first shocks being light, the quake grew 
in power until houses were deserted, men, women and children 
sought refuge in the streets, and horses and cattle broke 
loose in wild alarm. For perhaps two, or two and a half 
minutes, the temblor continued .and much damage was done. 
Los Angeles felt the disturbance far less than many other places, 
although five to six shocks were noted and twenty times during 
the week people were frightened from their homes; at Temple's 
rancho and at Fort Tejon great rents were opened in the earth and 
then closed again, piling up a heap or dune of finely -powdered 
stone and dirt. Large trees were uprooted and hurled down the 
hillsides; and tumbling after them went the cattle. Many 
officers, including Colonel B. L. Beall — well known in Los 
Angeles social circles — barely escaped from the barracks with 
their lives; and until the cracked adobes could be repaired, 
officers and soldiers lived in tents. It was at this time, too, 
that a so-called tidal wave almost engulfed the Sea Bird, 
plying between San Pedro and San Francisco, as she was 
entering the Golden Gate. Under the splendid seamanship 
of Captain Salisbury Haley, however, his little ship weathered 
the wave, and he was able later to report her awful experience 
to the scientific world. 


[1857] Sheriff Barton and the Bandidos 205 

This year also proved a dry season; and, consequently, 
times became very bad. With two periods of adversity, even 
the richest of the cattle-kings felt the pinch, and many began 
to part with their lands in order to secure the relief needed to 
tide them over. The effects of drought continued until 1858, 
although some good influences improved business conditions. 

Due to glowing accounts of the prospects for conquest and 
fortune given out by Henry A. Crabb, a Stockton lawyer who 
married a Spanish woman with relatives in Sonora, a hundred 
or more filibusters gathered in Los Angeles, in January, to 
meet Crabb at San Pedro, when he arrived from the North on 
the steamer Sea Bird. They strutted about the streets here, 
displaying rifles and revolvers; and this would seem to have 
been enough to prevent their departure for Sonita, a little 
town a hundred miles beyond Yuma, to which they finally 
tramped. The filibusters were permitted to leave, however, and 
they invaded the foreign soil; but Crabb made a mess of the 
undertaking, even failing in blowing up a little church he 
attacked; and those not killed in the skirmish were soon 
surrounded and taken prisoners. The next morning, Crabb 
and some others who had paraded so ostentatiously while here, 
were tied to trees or posts, and summarily executed. Crabb 's 
body was riddled with a hundred bullets and his head cut off 
and sent back in mescal; only one of the party was spared — 
Charley Evans, a lad of fifteen years, who worked his way to 
Los Angeles and was connected with a somewhat similar inva- 
sion a while later. 

In January, also, when threats were made against the white 
population of Southern California, Mrs. Griffin, the wife of 
Dr. J. S. Griffin, came running, in all excitement, to the home 
of Joseph Newmark, and told the members of the family to 
lock all their doors and bolt their windows, as it was reported 
that some of the outlaws were on their way to Los Angeles, 
to murder the white people. As soon as possible, the ladies of 
the Griffin, Nichols, Foy, Mallard, Workman, Newmark and 
other families were brought together for greater safety in 
Armory Hall, on Spring Street near Second, while the men took 

2o6 Sixty Years in Southern California [1857 

their places in line with the other citizens to patrol the hills and 

A still vivid impression of this startling episode recalls an 
Englishman, a Dr. Carter, who arrived here some three years 
before. He lived on the east side of Main Street near First, 
where the McDonald Block now stands; and while not promi- 
nent in his profession, he associated with some estimable families. 
When others were volunteering for sentry- work or to fight, the 
Doctor very gallantly offered his services as a Committee of 
One to care for the ladies — far from the firing line ! 

On hearing of these threats by native bandidos, James R. 
Barton, formerly a volunteer under General S. W. Kearny 
and then Sheriff, at once investigated the rumors; and the 
truth of the reports being verified, our small and exposed 
community was seized with terror. 

A large band of Mexican outlaws, led by Pancho Daniel, a 
convict who had escaped from San Quentin prison, and includ- 
ing Luciano Tapia and Juan Flores, on January 22 d had killed 
a German storekeeper named George W. Pflugardt, in San 
Juan Capistrano, while he was preparing his evening meal; 
and after having placed his body on the table, they sat around 
and ate what the poor victim had provided for himself. On 
the same occasion, these outlaws plundered the stores of Manuel 
Garcia, Henry Charles and Miguel Kragevsky or Kraszewski; 
the last named escaping by hiding under a lot of wash in a 
large clothes-basket. When the news of this murder reached 
Los Angeles, excitement rose to fever-heat and we prepared 
for something more than defense. 

Jim Barton, accompanied by William H. Little and Charles 
K. Baker, both constables, Charles F. Daley, an early black- 
smith here, Alfred Hardy and Frank Alexander — all volun- 
teers — left that evening for San Juan Capistrano, to capture 
the murderers, and soon arrived at the San Joaquin Ranch, 
about eighteen miles from San Juan. There Don Jose Andres 
Sepiilveda told Barton of a trap set for him, and that the 
robbers outnumbered his posse, two to one; and urged him to 
send back to Los Angeles for more volunteers. Brave but 

i857] Sheriff Barton and the Bandidos 207 

reckless Barton, however, persisted in pushing on the next day, 
and so encountered some of the marauders in Santiago Canyon. 
Barton, Baker, Little and Daley were killed; while Hardy and 
Alexander escaped. 

When Los Angeles was apprised of this second tragedy, 
the frenzy was indescribable, and steps were taken toward the 
formation of both a Committee of Safety and a Vigilance 
Committee — the latter to avenge the foul deed and to bring in 
the culprits. In meeting this emergency, the El Monte boys, 
as usual, took an active part. The city was placed under 
martial law, and Dr. John S. Griffin was put in charge of the 
local defenses. Suspicious houses, thought to be headquarters 
for robbers and thieves, were searched; and forty or fifty per- 
sons were arrested. The State Legislature was appealed to 
and at once voted financial aid. 

Although the Committee of Safety had the assistance of 
special foot police in guarding the city, the citizens made a 
requisition on Fort Tejon, and fifty soldiers were sent from 
that post to help pursue the band. Troops from San Diego, 
with good horses and plenty of provisions, were also placed at 
the disposition of the Los Angeles authorities. Companies of 
mounted Rangers were made up to scour the country, Ameri- 
can, German and French citizens vying with one another for the 
honor of risking their lives; one such company being formed 
at El Monte, and another at San Bernardino. There were also 
two detachments of native Calif ornians ; but many Sonorans 
and Mexicans from other States, either from sympathy or fear, 
aided the murdering robbers and so made their pursuit doubly 
difficult. However, the outlaws were pursued far into the 
mountains; and although the first party sent out returned 
without effecting anything (reporting that the desperadoes 
were not far from San Juan and that the horses of the pursuers 
had given out) practically all of the band, as will be seen, 
were eventually captured. 

Not only were vigorous measures taken to apprehend and 
punish the murderers, but provision was made to rescue the 
bodies of the slain, and to give them decent and honor- 

2o8 Sixty Years in Southern California [1857 

able burial. The next morning, after nearly one hundred 
mounted and armed men had set out to track the fugitives, 
another party, also on horseback, left to escort several wagons 
filled with coffins, in which they hoped to bring back the 
bodies of Sheriff Barton and his comrades. In this effort, the 
posse succeeded; and when the remains were received in Los 
Angeles on Sunday about noon, the city at once went into 
mourning. All business was suspended, and the impressive 
burial ceremonies, conducted on Monday, were attended by 
the citizens en masse. Oddly enough, there was not a Protes- 
tant clergyman in town at the time; but the Masonic Order 
took the matter in hand and performed their rites over those 
who were Masons, and even paid their respects, with a portion 
of the ritual, to the non-Masonic dead. 

General Andres Pico, with a company of native mounted 
Californians, who left immediately after the funeral, was 
especially prominent in running down the outlaws, thus again 
displaying his natural gift of leadership; and others fitted 
themselves out and followed as soon as they could. General 
Pico knew both land and people; and on capturing Silvas and 
Ardillero, two of the worst of the handidos, after a hard resist- 
ance, he straightway hung them to trees, at the very spot where 
they had tried to assassinate him and his companions. 

In the pursuit of the murderers, James Thompson (suc- 
cessor, in the following January, to the murdered Sheriff 
Getman) led a company of horsemen toward the Tejunga; 
and at the Simi Pass, high upon the rocks, he stationed United 
States soldiers as a lookout. Little San Gabriel, in which J. F. 
Burns, as Deputy Sheriff, was on the watch, also made its con- 
tribution to the restoration of order and peace; for some of its 
people captured and executed three or four of Daniels's and 
Flores's band. Flores was caught on the top of a peak in the 
Santiago range; all in all, some fifty-two culprits were brought 
to Los Angeles and lodged in jail; and of that number eleven 
were lynched or legally hung. 

When the Vigilance Committee had jailed a suspected 
murderer, the people were called to sit in judgment. We met 

i857] Sheriff Barton and the Bandidos 209 

near the veranda of the Montgomery, and Judge Jonathan R. 
Scott having been made Chairman, a regular order of procedure, 
extra-legal though it was, was followed ; after announcing the 
capture, and naming the criminal, the Judge called upon the 
crowd to determine the prisoner's fate. Thereupon some one 
would shout : ' ' Hang him ! ' ' Scott would then put the question 
somewhat after the following formula: "Gentlemen, you have 
heard the motion ; all those in favor of hanging So-and-So, will 
signify by saying. Aye! " 

And the citizens present unanimously answered, Aye! 

Having thus expressed their will, the assemblage proceeded 
to the jail, a low, adobe building behind the little Municipal 
and County structure, and easily subdued the jailer, Frank 
J. Carpenter, whose daughter, Josephine, became Frank 
Burns's second wife. The prisoner was then secured, taken 
from his cell, escorted to Fort Hill — a rise of ground behind 
the jail — where a temporary gallows had been constructed, 
and promptly despatched; and after each of the first batch of 
culprits had there successively paid the penalty for his crime, 
the avengers quietly dispersed to their homes to await the 
capture and dragging in of more cutthroats. 

Among those condemned by vote at a public meeting in 
the way I have described, was Juan Flores, who was hanged 
on February 14th, 1857, well up on Fort Hill, in sight of such 
a throng that it is hardly too much to say that practically 
every man, woman and child in the pueblo was present, not to 
mention many people drawn by curiosity from various parts 
of the State who had flocked into town. Flores was but 
twenty-one years of age; yet, the year previous he had been 
sent to prison for horse-stealing. At the same time that Flores 
was executed, Miguel Blanco, who had stabbed the miHtia- 
man, Captain W. W. Twist, in order to rob him of a thousand 
dollars, was also hanged. 

Espinosa and Lopez, two members of the robber band, for a 

while eluded their pursuers. At San Buenaventura, however, 

they were caught, and on the following morning, Espinosa 

was hung. Lopez again escaped; and it was not until Feb- 


210 Sixty Years in Southern California [1857 

ruary i6th that he was finally recaptured and despatched to 
other realms. 

Two days after Juan Flores was sent to a warmer clime, 
Luciano Tapia and Thomas King were executed. Tapia's 
case was rather regrettable, for he had been a respectable 
laborer at San Luis Obispo until Flores, meeting him, persuaded 
him to abandon honest work. Tapia came to Los Angeles, 
joined the robber band and was one of those who helped to 
kill Sheriff Barton. 

In 1857, the Sisters of Charity founded the Los Angeles 
Lifirmary, the first regular hospital in the city, with Sister 
Ana, for years well known here, as Sister Superior. For a while, 
temporary quarters were taken in the house long occupied by 
Don Jose Maria Aguilar and family, which property the Sisters 
soon purchased ; but the next year they bought some land from 
Don Luis Arenas, adjoining Don Jose Andres Sepiilveda's, and 
were thus enabled to enlarge the hospital. Their service being 
the best, in time they were enabled to acquire a good-sized, 
two-story building of brick, in the upper part of the city; and 
there their patients enjoyed the refreshing and health-restoring 
environment of garden and orchard. 

It was not until this year that, on the corner of Alameda 
and Bath streets, Oscar Macy, City Treasurer in 1887-88, 
opened the first public bath house, having built a water-wheel 
with small cans attached to the paddles, to dip water up from 
the Alameda zanja, as a medium for supplying his tank. He 
provided hot water as well as cold. Oscar charged fifty cents 
a bath, and furnished soap and towels. 

In 1857, the steamship Senator left San Francisco on the 
fifth and twentieth of each month and so continued until the 
people wanted a steamer at least once every ten days. 

Despite the inconvenience and expense of obtaining water 
for the home, it was not until February 24th that Judge W. G. 
Dryden — who, with a man named McFadden, had established 
the nucleus of a system — was granted a franchise to distribute 
water from his land, and to build a water-wheel in the za^ija 
madre. The Dryden, formerly known as the Abila Springs 

i8s7] Sheriff Ba-vton 2ind the Bandidos 211 

and later the source of the Beaudry supply, were near the site 
selected for the San Fernando Street Railway Station; and 
from these springs water was conveyed by a zanja to the Plaza. 
There, in the center, a brick tank, perhaps ten feet square and 
fifteen feet high, was constructed; and this was filled by means 
of pumps, while from the tank wooden pipes distributed water 
to the 

So infrequently did we receive intelligence from the remoter 
parts of the world throughout the fifties that sometimes a 
report, especially if apparently authentic, when finally it 
reached here, created real excitement. I recall, more or less 
vividly, the arrival of the stages from the Senator, late in March, 
and the stir made when the news was passed from mouth to 
mouth that Livingstone, the explorer, had at last been heard 
from in far-off and unknown Africa. 

Los Angeles schools were then open only part of the year, 
the School Board being compelled, in the spring, to close them 
for want of money. William Wolfskill, however, rough pioneer 
though he was, came to the Board's rescue. He was widely 
known as an advocate of popular education, having, as I have 
said, his own private teachers ; and to his lasting honor, he gave 
the Board sufficient funds to make possible the reopening of one 
of the schools. 

In 1857, I again revisited San Francisco. During the four 
years since my first visit a complete metamorphosis had taken 
place. Tents and small frame structures were being largely 
replaced with fine buildings of brick and stone; many of the 
sand dunes had succumbed to the march of improvement; 
gardens were much more numerous, and the uneven char- 
acter of streets and sidewalks had been wonderfully improved. 
In a word, the spirit of Western progress was asserting itself, 
and the city by the Golden Gate was taking on a decidedly 
metropolitan appearance. 

Notwithstanding various attempts at citrus culture in 
Southern California, some time elapsed before there was much 
of an orange or lemon industry in this vicinity. In 1854, a Dr. 
Halsey started an orange and lime nursery, on the Rowland 

212 Sixty Years in Southern California [1857 

place, which he soon sold to William Wolfskill, for four thou- 
sand dollars; and in April, 1857, when there were not many- 
more than a hundred orange trees bearing fruit in the whole 
county, Wolfskill planted several thousand and so established 
what was to be, for that time, the largest orange orchard 
in the United States. He had thrown away a good many 
of the lemon trees received from Halsey, because they were 
frost-bitten; but he still had some lemon, orange and olive 
trees left. Later, under the more scientific care of his son, 
Joseph Wolfskill, who extended the original Wolfskill grove, 
this orchard was made to yield very large crops. 

In 1857, a group of Germans living in San Francisco bought 
twelve hundred acres of waste, sandy land, at two dollars an 
acre, from Don Pacifico Onteveras, and on it started the town 
of Anaheim — a name composed of the Spanish Ana, from 
Santa Ana, and the German Heim, for home ; and this was the 
first settlement in the county founded after my arrival. This 
land formed a block about one and a quarter miles square, 
some three miles from the Santa Ana River, and five miles 
from the residence of Don Bernardo Yorba, from whom the 
company received special privileges. A. Langenberger, a 
German, who married Yorba's daughter, was probably one of 
the originators of the Anaheim plan ; at any rate, his influence 
with his father-in-law was of value to his friends in completing 
the deal. There were fifty shareholders, who paid seven hun- 
dred and fifty dollars each, with an Executive Council composed 
of Otmar Caler, President; G. Charles Kohler, Vice-President; 
Cyrus Beythien, Treasurer; and John Fischer, Secretary; 
while John Frohling, R. Emerson, Felix Bachman, who was a 
kind of Sub-treasurer, and Louis Jazyinsky, made up the Los 
Angeles Auditing Committee. George Hansen, afterward 
the colony's Superintendent, surveyed the tract and laid it 
out in fifty twenty-acre lots, with streets and a public park; 
around it a live fence of some forty to fifty thousand willow 
cuttings, placed at intervals of a couple of feet, was planted. 
A main canal, six to seven miles long, with a fall of fifteen to 
twenty feet, brought abimdant water from the Santa Ana 

1857] Sheriff Ba.r ton 3.nd the Bana^idos 213 

River, while some three hundred and fifty miles of lateral 
ditches distributed the water to the lots. On each lot, some 
eight or ten thousand grape vines were set out, the first as 
early as January, 1858. On December 15th, 1859, the stock- 
holders came south to settle on their partially-cultivated land; 
and although but one among the entire number knew anything 
about wine-making, the dream of the projectors — to estab- 
lish there the largest vineyard in the world — bade fair to come 
true. The colonists were quite a curious mixture — two or 
three carpenters, four blacksmiths, three watchmakers, a 
brewer, an engraver, a shoemaker, a poet, a miller, a book- 
binder, two or three merchants, a hatter and a musician; but 
being mostly of sturdy, industrious German stock, they soon 
formed such a prosperous and important little community 
that, by 1876, the settlement had grown to nearly two thousand 
people. A peculiar plan was adopted for investment, sale and 
compensation: each stockholder paid the same price at the 
beginning, and later all drew for the lots, the apportionment 
being left to chance ; but since the pieces of land were conceded 
to have dissimilar values, those securing the better lots equal- 
ized in cash with their less lucky associates. Soon after i860, 
when Langenberger had erected the first hotel there, Anaheim 
took a leading place in the production of grapes and wine ; and 
this position of honor it kept until, in 1888, a strange disease 
suddenly attacked and, within a single year, killed all the vines, 
after which the cultivation of oranges and walnuts was under- 
taken. Kohler and Frohling had wineries in both San Francisco 
and Los Angeles, the latter being adjacent to the present 
corner of Central Avenue and Seventh Street; and this firm 
purchased most of Anaheim's grape crop, although some vine- 
yard owners made their own wine. T'.Iorris L. Goodman, by 
the way, was here at an early period, and was one of the first 
settlers of Anaheim. 

Hermann Heinsch, a native of Prussia, arrived in Los 
Angeles in 1857 and soon after engaged in the harness and 
saddlery business. On March 8th, 1863, he was married to 
Mary Haap. Having become proficient at German schools in 

214 Sixty Years in Southern California [1857 

both music and languages, Heinsch lent his time and efforts to 
the organization and drill of Germans here, and contributed 
much to the success of both the Teutonia and the Turnverein. 
In 1869, the Heinsch Building was erected at the corner of Com- 
mercial and Los Angeles streets; and as late as 1876 this was 
a shopping district, a Mrs. T. J. Baker having a dressmaking 
establishment there. After a prosperous career, Heinsch died 
on January 13th, 1883; his wife followed him on April 14th, 
1906. R. C. Heinsch, a son, survives them. 

Major Walter Harris Harvey, a native of Georgia once a 
cadet at West Point, but dismissed for his pranks (who about 
the middle of the fifties married Eleanor, eldest full sister of 
John G. Downey, and became the father of J. Downey Harvey, 
now living in San Francisco) , settled in California shortly after 
the Mexican War. During the first week in May, 1857, or 
some four years before he died. Major Harvey arrived from 
Washington with an appointment as Register of the Land 
Office, in place of H. P. Dorsey. At the same time, Don 
Agustin Olvera was appointed Receiver, in lieu of General 
Andres Pico. These and other rotations in office were due, of 
course, to national administration changes. President Buchanan 
having recently been inaugurated. 

One of the interesting legal inquiries of the fifties was 
conducted in 1857 when, in the District Court here, Antonio 
Maria Lugo, crowned with the white of seventy-six winters, 
testified, at a hearing to establish certain claims to land, as to 
what he knew of old ranchos hereabouts, recalling many details 
of the pueblo and incidents as far back as 1785. He had seen 
the San Rafael Ranch, for example, in 1790, and he had also 
roamed, as a young man, over the still older Dominguez and 
Nietos hills. 

Charles Henry Forbes, who was born at the Mission San 
Jose, came to Los Angeles County in 1857 and, though but 
twenty-two years old, was engaged by Don Abel Stearns to 
superintend his various ranchos, becoming Stearns's business 
manager in 1866, with a small office on the ground-floor of 
the Arcadia Block. In 1864, Forbes married Dona Luisa 

i857] Sheriff Barton and the Bandidos 215 

Olvera, daughter of Judge Agustin Olvera, and a graduate 
of the Sisters' school. On the death of Don Abel, in 1871, 
Forbes settled up Stearns's large estate, retaining his pro- 
fessional association with Dona Arcadia, after her marriage to 
Colonel Baker, and even until he died in May, 1894. 

As I have intimated, the principal industry throughout Los 
Angeles County, and indeed throughout Southern California, up 
to the sixties, was the raising of cattle and horses — an under- 
taking favored by a people particularly fond of leisure and 
knowing little of the latent possibilities in the land ; so that this 
entire area of magnificent soil supported herds which provided 
the whole population in turn, directly or indirectly, with a 
livelihood. The live stock subsisted upon the grass growing 
wild all over the county, and the prosperity of Southern Cali- 
fornia therefore depended entirely upon the season's rainfall. 
This was true to a far greater extent than one might suppose, 
for water-development had received no attention outside of Los 
Angeles. If the rainfall was sufficient to produce feed, dealers 
came from the North and purchased our stock, and everybody 
thrived; if, on the other hand, the season was dry, cattle and 
horses died and the public's pocket-book shrank to very un- 
pretentious dimensions. As an incident in even a much later 
period than that which I here have in mind, I can distinctly re- 
member that I would rise three or four times during a single 
meal to see if the overhanging clouds had yet begun to give 
that rain which they had seemed to promise, and which was 
so vital to our prosperity. 

As for rain, I am reminded that every newspaper in those 
days devoted much space to weather reports or, rather, to gos- 
sip about the weather at other points along the Coast, as 
well as to the consequent prospects here. The weather was the 
one determining factor in the problem of a successful or a 
disastrous season, and became a very important theme when 
ranchers and others congregated at our store. 

And here I may mention, a propos of this matter of rainfall 
and its general effects, that there were millions of ground- 
squirrels all over this country that shared with other animals 

2i6 Sixty Years in Southern California [1857 

the ups and downs of the season. When there was plenty of 
rain, these squirrels fattened and multiplied; but when evil 
days came, they sickened, starved and perished. On the other 
hand, great overflows, due to heavy rainfalls, drowned many 
of these troublesome little rodents. 

The raising of sheep had not yet developed any importance 
at the time of my arrival; most of the mutton then consumed 
in Los Angeles coming from Santa Cruz Island, in the Santa 
Barbara Channel, though some was brought from San Clemente 
and Santa Catalina islands. On the latter, there was a herd 
of from eight to ten thousand sheep in which Oscar Macy later 
acquired an interest; and L. Harris, father-in-law of H. W. 
Frank, the well- and favorably-known President and member 
of the Board of Education, also had extensive herds there. 
They ran wild and needed very Httle care, and only semi-yearly 
visits were made to look after the shearing, packing and ship- 
ping of the wool. Santa Cruz Island had much larger herds, 
and steamers running to and from San Francisco often stopped 
there to take on sheep and sheep-products. 

Santa Catalina Island, for years the property of Don Jose 
Maria Covarrubias— and later of the eccentric San Francisco 
pioneer James Lick, who crossed the plains in the same party 
with the Lanfranco brothers and tried to induce them to settle 
in the North — was not far from San Clemente; and there, 
throughout the extent of her hills and vales, roamed herd after 
herd of wild goats. Early seafarers, I believe it has been sug- 
gested, accustomed to carry goats on their sailing vessels, 
for a supply of milk, probably deposited some of the animals 
on Catalina; but however that may be, hunting parties to 
this day explore the mountains in search of them. 

Considering, therefore, the small number of sheep here 
about 1853, it is not uninteresting to note that, according to 
old records of San Gabriel for the winter of 1828-29, there were 
then at the Mission no less than fifteen thousand sheep ; while 
in 1858, on the other hand, according to fairly accurate reports, 
there were fully twenty thousand sheep in Los Angeles County. 
Two years later, the number had doubled. 

i857] Sheriff BsLVion 2ind the Banc^idos 217 

George Carson, a New Yorker who came here in 1852, and 
after whom Carson Station is named, was one of the first to 
engage in the sheep industry. Soon after he arrived, he went 
into the livery business, to which he gave attention even when 
in partnership successively with Sanford, Dean and Hicks in 
the hardware business, on Commercial Street. On July 30th, 
1857, Carson married Dona Victoria, a daughter of Manuel 
Dominguez; but it was not until 1864 that, having sold out his 
two business interests (the livery to George Butler and the 
hardware to his partner) , he moved to the ranch of his father- 
in-law, where he continued to live, assisting Dominguez with the 
management of his great property. Some years later, Carson 
bought four or five hundred acres of land adjoining the Domin- 
guez acres and turned his attention to sheep. Later still, he 
became interested in the development of thoroughbred cattle and 
horses, but continued to help his father-in-law in the directing 
of his ranch. When rain favored the land, Carson, in common 
with his neighbors, amassed wealth ; but during dry years he suf- 
fered disappointment and loss, and on one occasion was forced 
to take his flocks, then consisting of ten thousand sheep, to the 
mountains, where he lost all but a thousand head. It cost him 
ten thousand dollars to save the latter, which amount far 
exceeded their value. In this movement of stock, he took with 
him, as his lieutenant, a young Mexican named Martin Cruz 
whom he had brought up on the rancho. Carson was one of my 
cronies, while I was still young and single; and we remained 
warm friends until he died. 

Almost indescribable excitement followed the substantiated 
reports, received in the fall of 1857, that a train of emigrants 
from Missouri and Arkansas, on their way to California, had 
been set upon by Indians, near Mountain Meadow, Utah, on 
September 7th, and that thirty-six members of the party had 
been brutally killed. Particularly were the Gentiles of the 
Southwest stirred up when it was learned that the assault had 
been planned and carried through by one Lee, a Mormon, 
whose act sprang rather from the frenzy of a madman than 
from the deliberation of a well-balanced mind. The attitude 

2i8 Sixty Years in Southern California [1857 

of Brigham Young toward the United States Government, at 
that time, and his alleged threat to "turn the Indians loose" 
upon the whites, added color to the assertion that Young's 
followers were guilty of the massacre ; but fuller investigation 
has absolved the Mormons, I believe, as a society, from any 
complicity in the awful affair. Some years later the two Oat- 
man girls were rescued from the Indians (by whom they had 
been tattooed), and for a while they stayed at Ira Thompson's, 
where I saw them. 

In 1857, J. G. Nichols was reelected Mayor of Los Angeles, 
and began several improvements he had previously advocated, 
especially the irrigating of the plain below the city. By August 
2d, Zanja No. 2 was completed; and this brought about the 
building of the Aliso Mill and the further cultivation of much 
excellent land. 

One of the passengers that left San Francisco with me for 
San Pedro on October 18th, 1853, who later became a success- 
ful citizen of Southern California, was Edward N. McDonald, 
a native of New York State. We had sailed from New York 
together, and together had finished the long journey to the 
Pacific Coast, after which I lost track of him. McDonald had 
intended proceeding farther south, and I was surprised at 
meeting him on the street, some weeks after my arrival, in Los 
Angeles. Reaching San Pedro, he contracted to enter the 
service of Alexander & Banning, and remained with Banning 
for several years, until he formed a partnership with John O. 
Wheeler's brother, who later went to Japan. McDonald, sub- 
sequently raised sheep on a large scale and acquired much ranch 
property; and in 1876, he built thei block on Main Street bear- 
ing his name. Sixteen years later, he erected another structure, 
opposite the first one. When McDonald died at Wilmington, 
on June loth, 1899, ^^ 1^^^ his wife an estate valued at about 
one hundred and sixty thousand dollars which must have in- 
creased in value, since then, many fold. 

N. A. Potter, a Rhode Islander, came to Los Angeles in 
1855, bringing with him a stock of Yankee goods and open- 
ing a store; and two years later he bought a two-story brick 

1857] Sheriff Barton and the Bandidos 219 

building on Main Street, opposite the Bella Union. Louis 
Jazynsky was a partner with Potter, for a while, under the 
firm name of Potter & Company; but later Jazynsky left Los 
Angeles for San Francisco. Potter died here in 1868. 

Possibly the first instance of an Angeleno proffering a gift 
to the President of the United States — and that, too, of some- 
thing characteristic of this productive soil and climate — was 
when Henry D. Barrows, in September, called on President 
Buchanan, in Washington and, on behalf of William Wolfskill, 
Don Manuel Requena and himself, gave the Chief Executive 
some California fruit and wine. 

I have before me a Ledger of the year 1857; it is a medium- 
sized volume bound in leather, and on the outside cover is 
inscribed, in the bold, old-fashioned handwriting of fifty-odd 
years ago, the simple legend, 


Each page is headed with the name of some still-remembered 
worthy of that distant day who was a customer of the old firm ; 
and in 1857, a customer was always a friend. According to the 
method of that period the accounts are closed, not with balanc- 
ing entries and red lines but, in the blackest of black ink, with 
the good, straightforward and positive inscription, Settled. 

The perusal of this old book carries me back over the 
vanished years. As the skull in the hand of the ancient monk, 
so does this antiquated volume recall to me how transitory is 
this life and all its affairs. A few remain to tell a younger 
generation the story of the early days; but the majority, even 
as in 1857 they carefully balanced their scores in this old Ledger, 
have now closed their accounts in the great Book of Life. 
They have settled with their heaviest Creditor; they have gone 
before Him to render their last account. With few or no ex- 
ceptions, they were a manly, sterling race, and I have no doubt 
that He found their assets far greater than their liabilities. 




IN January, 1858, I engaged, in the sheep business. After 
some investigation, I selected and purchased for an in- 
significant sum, just west of the present Hollenbeck Home 
on Boyle Avenue, a convenient site, which consisted of twenty 
acres of land, through which a ditch conducted water to Don 
Felipe Lugo's San Antonio rancho — a flow quite sufficient, at 
the time, for my herd. These sheep I pastured on adjacent 
lands belonging to the City ; and as others often did the same, 
no one said me Nay. Everything progressed beautifully until 
the first of May, when the ditch ran dry. Upon making inquiry, 
I learned that the City had permitted Lugo to dig a private 
ditch across this twenty-acre tract to his ranch, and to use 
what water he needed during the rainy season; but that in May, 
when the authorities resumed their irrigation service, the 
privilege was withdrawn. I was thus deprived of water for 
the sheep. 

Despite the fact that there was an adobe on the land, I 
could not dispose of the property at any price. One day a 
half-breed known as the Chicken Thief called on me and offered 
a dozen chickens for the adobe, but — not a chicken for the 
land! Stealing chickens was this man's profession; and I 
suppose that he offered me the medium of exchange he was 
most accustomed to have about him. 

Sheriff William C. Getman had been warned, in the tragic 
days of 1858, to look out for a maniac named Reed; but almost 

[1858] Marriage — The Butterfield Stages 221 

courting such an emergency, Getman (once a dashing Lieu- 
tenant of the Rangers and bearing grapeshot wounds from his 
participation in the Siege of Mexico) went, on the seventh of 
January, with Francis Baker to a pawnbroker, whose estab- 
lishment, near Los Angeles and Aliso streets, was popularly 
known as the Monte Pio. There the officers found Reed locked 
and barricaded in a room ; and while the Sheriff was endeavoring 
to force an entrance, Reed suddenly threw open the door, ran 
out and, to the dismay of myself and many others gathered to 
witness the arrest, pulled a pistol from his pocket, discharged 
the weapon, and Getman dropped on the spot. The maniac 
then retreated into the pawnbroker's from which he fired 
at the crowd. Deputy Baker — later assistant to Marshal 
Warren, who was shot by Dye — finally killed the desperado, 
but not before Reed had fired twenty to thirty shots, four or 
five of which passed through Baker's clothing. When the 
excited crowd broke into the shop, it was found that the mad- 
man had been armed with two derringers, two revolvers and a 
bowie knife — a convenient little arsenal which he had taken 
from the money-lender's stock. The news of the affray spread 
rapidly through the town and everywhere created great regret. 
Baker, who had sailed around the Horn a couple of years be- 
fore I arrived, died on May 17th, 1899, after having been City 
Marshal and Tax Collector. 

Such trouble with men inclined to use firearms too freely 
was not confined to maniacs or those bent on revenge or 
robbery. On one occasion, for example, about 1858, while 
passing along the street I observed Gabriel Allen, known 
among his intimates as Gabe Allen, a veteran of the War with 
Mexico — and some years later a Supervisor — on one of his 
jollifications, with Sheriff Getman following close at his heels. 
Having arrived in front of a building, Gabe suddenly raised 
his gun and aimed at a carpenter who was at work on the roof. 
Getman promptly knocked Allen down; whereupon the latter 
said, "You've got me, Billy!" Allen's only purpose, it ap- 
peared, was to take a shot at the innocent stranger and thus 
test his marksmanship. 

222 Sixty Years in Southern California [1858 

This Gabe Allen was really a notorious character, though 
not altogether bad. When sober, he was a peaceable man ; but 
when on a spree, he was decidedly warlike and on such occasions 
always "shot up the town." While on one of these jamborees, 
for example, he was heard to say, "I'll shoot, if I only kill six 
of them!" In later Hfe, however, Allen married a Mexican 
lady who seems to have had a mollifying influence; and there- 
after he lived at peace with the world. 

During the changing half-century or more of which I 
write, Los Angeles has witnessed many exciting street scenes, 
but it is doubtful if any exhibition here ever called to doors, 
windows and the dusty streets a greater percentage of the 
entire population than that of the Government camels driven 
through the town on January 8th, 1858, under the martial and 
spectacular command of Ned, otherwise Lieutenant, and later 
General and Ambassador E. F. Beale, and the forbear of the 
so-called hundred million dollar McLean baby; the same 
Lieutenant Beale who opened up Beale 's Route from the Rio 
Grande to Fort Tejon. The camels had just come in from the 
fort, having traveled forty or more miles a day across the 
desert, to be loaded with military stores and provisions. As 
early as the beginning of the fifties, Jefferson Davis, then in 
Congress, had advocated, but without success, the appropria- 
tion of thirty thousand dollars for the purchase of such animals, 
believing that they could be used on the overland routes and 
would prove especially serviceable in desert regions; and when 
Davis, in 1854, as Secretary of War, secured the appropriation 
for which he had so long contended, he despatched American 
army officers to Egypt and Arabia to make the purchase. 
Some seventy or seventy-five camels were obtained and trans- 
ported to Texas by the storeship Supply; and in the Lone Star 
State the herd was divided into two parts, half being sent to the 
Gadsden Purchase, afterward Arizona, and half to Albuquerque. 
In a short time, the second division was put in charge of Lieu- 
tenant Beale who was assisted by native camel-drivers brought 
from abroad. Among these was Philip Tedro, or Hi Jolly — 
who had been picked up by Commodore Dave Porter — and 

i8s8] Marriage — The Butterfield Stages 223 

Greek George, years afterward host to bandit Vasquez; and 
camels and drivers made several trips back and forth across 
the Southwest country. Once headquartered at Fort Tejon, 
they came to Los Angeles every few weeks for provisions ; each 
time creating no little excitement among the adult population 
and affording much amusement, as they passed along the 
streets, to the small boy. 

To return to Pancho Daniel, the escaped leader of the Bar- 
ton murderers. He was heard from occasionally, as foraging 
north toward San Luis Obispo, and was finally captured, after 
repeated efforts to entrap and round him up, by Sheriff Murphy, 
on January 19th, 1858, while hiding in a haystack near San Jose. 
When he was brought to Los Angeles, he was jailed, and then 
released on bail. Finally, Daniel's lawyers secured for him a 
change of venue to Santa Barbara; and this was the last abuse 
that led the public again to administer a little law of its own. 
Early on the morning of November 30th, Pancho's body was 
found hanging by the neck at the gateway to the County Jail 
yard, a handful of men having overpowered the keeper, secured 
the key and the prisoner, and sent him on a journey with a 
different destination from Santa Barbara. 

On February 25th, fire started in Childs & Hicks's store, on 
Los Angeles Street, and threatened both the Bella Union and 
El Palacio, then the residence of Don Abel Stearns. The brick in 
the building of Felix Bachman & Company and the volunteer 
bucket-brigade prevented a general conflagration. Property 
worth thousands of dollars was destroyed, Bachman & Com- 
pany alone carrying insurance. The conflagration demon- 
strated the need of a fire engine, and a subscription was started 
to get one. 

Weeks later workmen, rummaging among the debris, found 
five thousand dollars in gold, which discovery produced no little 
excitement. Childs claimed the money as his, saying that it 
had been stolen from him by a thieving clerk ; but the workmen, 
undisturbed by law, kept the treasure. 

A new four-page weekly newspaper appeared on March 
24th, bearing the suggestive title, the Southern Vineyard, 

224 Sixty Years in Southern California [1858 

and the name of Colonel J.J. Warner, as editor. By December, 
it had become a semi-weekly. Originally Democratic, it now 
favored the Union party; it was edited with ability, but died 
on June 8th, i860. 

On March 24th, I married Sarah, second daughter of Joseph 
Newmark, to whom I had been engaged since 1856. She was 
born on January 9th, 1841, and had come to live in Los Angeles 
in 1854. The ceremony, performed by the bride's father, took 
place at the family home, at what is now 501 North Main 
Street, almost a block from the Plaza, on the site of the Bruns- 
wig Drug Company ; and there we continued to live until about 

At four o'clock, a small circle of intimates was wel- 
comed at dinner; and in the evening there was a house-party 
and dance, for which invitations printed on lace-paper, in the 
typography characteristic of that day, had been sent out. 
Among the friends who attended, were the military officers 
stationed at Fort Tejon, including Major Bell, the commanding 
officer, and Lieutenant John B. Magruder, formerly Colonel at 
San Diego and later a Major General in the Civil War, com- 
manding Confederate forces in the Peninsula and in Texas, 
and eventually serving under Maximilian in Mexico. Other 
friends still living in Los Angeles who were present are Mr. 
and Mrs. S. Lazard, Mrs. S. C. Foy, William H. Workman, 
C. E. Thom and H. D. Barrows. Men rarely went out un- 
armed at night, and most of our male visitors doffed their 
weapons — both pistols and knives — as they came in, spreading 
them around in the bedrooms. The ladies brought their 
babies with them for safe-keeping, and the same rooms were 
placed at their disposal. Imagine, if you can, the appearance 
of this nursery-arsenal! 

It was soon after we were married that my wife said to me 
one day, rather playfully, but with a touch of sadness, that our 
meeting might easily have never taken place; and when I in- 
quired what she meant, she described an awful calamity that 
had befallen the Greenwich Avenue school in New York City, 
which she attended as a little girl, and where several hun- 





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3\lx, mih Brs. 'x Mmmmk 

tJtoeai'eit ike, ktea->u,te op wonA. comKcwut 
at 8 f'cfoci. 

Facsimile of Harris and Sarah Newmark's Wedding Invitation 

1858] Marriage — The Butterfield Stages 225 

dred pupils were distributed in different classrooms. The 
building was four stories in height; the ground floor paved 
with stones, was used as a playroom ; the primary department 
was on the second floor; the more advanced pupils occupied 
the third; while the top floor served as a lecture-room. 

On the afternoon of November 20th, 1851, Miss Harrison, 
the Principal of the young ladies' department, suddenly fell in a 
faint, and the resulting screams for water, being misunderstood, 
led to the awful cry of Fire! It was known that the pupils 
made a dash for the various doors and were soon massed around 
the stairway, yet a difference of opinion existed as to the cause 
of the tragedy. My wife always said that the staircase, which 
led from the upper to the first floor, ew caracole, gave way, letting 
the pupils fall; while others contended that the bannister 
snapped asunder, hurling the crowded unfortunates over the 
edge to the pavement beneath. A frightful fatality resulted. 
Hundreds of pupils of all ages were precipitated in heaps on to 
the stone floor, with a loss of forty-seven lives and a hundred 
or more seriously crippled. 

My wife, who was a child of but eleven years, was just 
about to jump with the rest when a providential hand re- 
strained and saved her. 

News of the disaster quickly spread, and in a short time 
the crowd of anxious parents, kinsfolk and friends who had 
hastened to the scene in every variety of vehicle and on 
foot, was so dense that the police had the utmost difficulty 
in removing the wounded, dying and dead. 

From Geneva, Switzerland, in 1 854, a highly educated French 
lady, Mile. Theresa Bry, whose oil portrait hangs in the 
County Museum, reached Los Angeles, and four years later 
married Frangois Henriot, a gardener by profession, who had 
come from la belle France in 1851. Together, on First Street 
near Los Angeles, they conducted a private school which 
enjoyed considerable patronage; removing the institution, in 
the early eighties, to the Arroyo Seco district. This matrimonial 
transaction, on account of the unequal social stations of the 
respective parties, caused some little flurry: in contrast to 


226 Sixty Years in Southern California [1858 

her own beauty and ladylike accomplishments, Frangois's 
manners were unrefined, his stature short and squatty, while 
his full beard (although it inspired respect, if not a certain 
feeling of awe, when he came to exercise authority in the school) 
was scraggy and unkempt. Mme. Henriot died in 1888, 
aged eighty-seven years, and was followed to the grave by 
her husband five years later. 

In 1858, the outlook for business brightened in Los Angeles; 
and Don Abel Stearns, who had acquired riches as a ranchero, 
built the Arcadia Block, on the corner of Los Angeles and 
Arcadia streets, naming it after his wife, Dona Arcadia, who, 
since these memoirs were commenced, has joined the silent 
majority. The structure cost about eighty thousand dollars, 
and was talked of for some time as the most notable business 
block south of San Francisco. The newspapers hailed it as an 
ornament to the city and a great step toward providing what 
the small and undeveloped community then regarded as a fire- 
proof structure for business purposes. Because, however, of 
the dangerous overflow of the Los Angeles River in rainy seasons, 
Stearns elevated the building above the grade of the street 
and to such an extent that, for several years, his store-rooms 
remained empty. But the enterprise at once bore some good 
fruit; to make the iron doors and shutters of the block, he 
started a foundry on New High Street and soon created some 
local iron-casting trade. 

On April 24th, Senora Guadalupe Romero died at the age, 
it is said, of one hundred and fifteen years. She came to Los 
Angeles, I was told, as far back as 1781, the wife of one of the 
earliest soldiers sent here, and had thus lived in the pueblo 
about seventy-seven years. 

Some chapters in the life of Henry Melius are of more than 
passing interest. Born in Boston, he came to California in 
1835, with Richard Henry Dana, in Captain Thompson's 
brig Pilgrim made famous in the story of Two Years before the 
Mast; clerked for Colonel Isaac Williams when that Chine 
worthy had a little store where later the Bella Union stood; 
returned to the East in 1837 and came back to the Coast the 

1858] Marriage — The Butterfield Stages 227 

second time as supercargo. Settling in San Francisco, he 
formed with Howard the well-known firm of Howard & Melius, 
which was wiped out, by the great fire, in 1851. Again Melius 
returned to Massachusetts, and in 1858 for a third time came 
to California, at length casting his fortune with us in growing 
Los Angeles. On Dana's return to San Pedro and the Pacific 
Coast in 1859, Melius — who had married a sister of Francis 
Mellus's wife and had become a representative citizen — 
entertained the distinguished advocate and author, and drove 
him around Los Angeles to view the once f amiHar and but little- 
altered scenes. Dana bore all his honors modestly, apparently 
quite oblivious of the curiosity displayed toward him and 
quite as unconscious that he was making one of the memorable 
visits in the early annals of the town. Dana Street serves as 
a memorial to one who contributed in no small degree to render 
the vicinity of Los Angeles famous. 

Just what hotel life in Los Angeles was in the late fifties, 
or about the time when Dana visited here, may be gathered from 
an anecdote often told by Dr. W. F. Edgar, who came to the 
City of the Angels for the first time in 1858. Dr. Edgar had 
been ordered to join an expedition against the Mojave Indians 
which was to start from Los Angeles for the Colorado River, and 
he put up at the old Bella Union, expecting at least one good 
night's rest before taking to the saddle again and making for 
the desert. Dr. Edgar found, however, to his intense disgust, 
that the entire second story was overcrowded with lodgers. 
Singing and loud talking were silenced, in turn, by the protests 
of those who wanted to sleep; but finally a guest, too full for 
expression but not so drunk that he was unable to breathe 
hoarsely, staggered in from a Sonora Town ball, tumbled into 
bed with his boots on, and commenced to snort, much like a pig. 
Under ordinary circumstances, this infliction would have been 
grievous enough; but the inner walls of the Bella Union were 
never overthick, and the rhythmic snoring of the late-comer 
made itself emphatically audible and proportionately obnoxious. 
Quite as emphatic, however, were the objections soon raised 
by the fellow-guests, who not only raised them but threw them, 

228 Sixty Years in Southern California [1858 

one after another — boots, bootjacks and sticks striking, with 
heavy thud, the snorer's portal; but finding that even these 
did not avail, the remonstrants, in various forms of deshabille, 
rushed out and began to kick at the door of the objectionable 
bedroom. Just at that moment the offender turned over with 
a grunt ; and the excited army of lodgers, baffled by the unresist- 
ing apathy of the sleeper, retreated, each to his nest. The 
next day, breathing a sigh of relief, Edgar forsook the heavenly 
regions of the Bella Union and made for Cajon Pass, eventu- 
ally reaching the Colorado and the place where the expedition 
found the charred remains of emigrants' wagons, the mournful 
evidence of Indian treachery and atrocity. 

Edgar's nocturnal experience reminds me of another in the 
good old Bella Union. When Cameron E. Thom arrived here 
in the spring of 1854, he engaged a room at the hotel which he 
continued to occupy for several months, or until the rains of 
1855 caused both roof and ceiling to cave in during the middle 
of the night, not altogether pleasantly arousing him from his 
slumbers. It was then that he moved to Joseph Newmark's, 
where he lived for some time, through which circumstance we 
became warm friends. 

Big, husky, hearty Jacob Kuhrts, by birth a German and 
now living here at eighty-one years of age, left home, as a mere 
boy, for the sea, visiting California on a vessel from China 
as early as 1848, and rushing off to Placer County on the out- 
break of the gold-fever. Roughing it for several years and 
narrowly escaping death from Indians, Jake made his first 
appearance in Los Angeles in 1858, soon after which I met him, 
when he was eking out a livelihood doing odd jobs about town, 
a fact leading me to conclude that his success at the mines was 
hardly commensurate with the privations endured. It was 
just about that time, when he was running a dray, that, 
attracted by a dance among Germans, Jake dropped in as he 
was; but how sorry an appearance he made may perhaps be 
fancied when I say that the door-keeper, eyeing him suspi- 
ciously, refused him admission and advised him to go home and 
put on his Sunday go-to-meetings. Jake went and, what is 

1858] Marriage — The Butterficld Stages 229 

more important, fortunately returned ; for while spinning around 
on the knotty floor, he met, fell in love with and ogled Frau- 
lein Susan Buhn, whom somewhat later he married. In 1864, 
Kuhrts had a little store on Spring Street near the adobe City 
Hall ; and there he prospered so well that by 1866 he had bought 
the northwest corner of Main and First streets, and put up 
the building he still owns. For twelve years he conducted a 
grocery in a part of that structure, living with his family in 
the second story, after which he was sufficiently prosperous to 
retire. Active as his business life has been, Jake has proved 
his patriotism time and again, devoting his efforts as a City 
Father, and serving, sometimes without salary, as Superinten- 
dent of Streets, Chief of the Fire Department and Fire Com- 

In 1858, John Temple built what is now the south wing of 
the Temple Block standing directly opposite the Bullard 
Building; but the Main Street stores being, like Stearns's 
Arcadia Block, above the level of the sidewalk and, therefore, 
reached only by several steps, proved unpopular and did not 
rent, although Tischler & Schlesinger, heading a party of 
grain-buyers, stored some wheat in them for a while or until 
the grain, through its weight, broke the flooring, and was pre- 
cipitated into the cellar; and even as late as 1859, after telegraph 
connection with San Francisco had been completed, only one 
little space on the Spring Street side, in size not more than eight 
by ten feet, was rented", the telegraph company being the 
tenants. One day William Wolfskill, pointing to the structure, 
exclaimed to his friends: "What a pity that Temple put all his 
money there ! Had he not gone into building so extravagantly, 
he might now be a rich man." Wolfskill himself, however, 
later commenced the construction of a small block on Main 
Street, opposite the Bella Union, to be occupied by S. Lazard 
& Company, but which he did not live to see completed. 

Later on, the little town grew and, as this property became 
more central. Temple removed the steps and built the stores 
flush with the sidewalk, after which wide-awake merchants 
began to move into them. One of Temple's first important 

230 Sixty Years in Southern California [1858 

tenants on Main Street was Daniel Desmond, the hatter. His 
store was about eighteen by forty feet. Henry Slotterbeck, 
the well-known gunsmith, was another occupant. He always 
carried a large stock of gunpowder, which circumstance did not 
add very much to the security of the neighborhood. 

On the Court Street side, Jake Philippi was one of the first 
to locate, and there he conducted a sort of Kneipe. His was a 
large room, with a bar along the west side. The floor was 
generously sprinkled with sawdust, and in comfortable arm- 
chairs, around the good, old-fashioned redwood tables, fre- 
quently sat many of his German friends and patrons, gathered 
together to indulge in a game of Pedro, Skat or whist, and to pass 
the time pleasantly away. Some of those who thus met to- 
gether at Jake Phillippi's, at different periods of his occupancy, 
were Dr. Joseph Kurtz, H. Heinsch, Conrad Jacoby, Abe Haas, 
C. F. Heinzeman, P. Lazarus, Edward PoUitz, A. Elsaesser and 
B. F. Drackenfeld, who was a brother-in-law of Judge Erskine 
M. Ross and claimed descent from some dwellers on the 
Rhine. He succeeded Frank Lecouvreur as bookkeeper for H. 
Newmark & Company, and was in turn succeeded, on re- 
moving to New York, by Pollitz ; while the latter was followed 
by John S. Stower, an Englishman now residing in London, 
whose immediate predecessor was Richard Altschul. Dracken- 
feld attained prominence in New York, and both Altschul and 
Pollitz in San Francisco. Of these, Drackenfeld and Pollitz 
are dead. 

Most of these convivial frequenters at Phillipi's belonged to 
a sort of Deutscher Kliib which met, at another period, in a little 
room in the rear of the corner of Main and Requena streets, 
just over the cool cellar then conducted by Bayer & Sattler. 
A stairway connected the two floors, and by means of that 
communication the Klub obtained its supply of lager beer. 
This fact recalls an amusing incident. When Philip Lauth and 
Louis Schwarz succeeded Christian Henne in the management 
of the brewery at the corner of Main and Third streets, the 
Khih was much dissatisfied with the new brew and forthwith 
had Bayer & Sattler send to Milwaukee for beer made by 

1858] Marriage — The Butterfield Stages 231 

Philip Best. Getting wind of the matter, Lauth met the 
competition by at once putting on the market a brand more 
wittily than appropriately known as "Philip's Best." Sattler 
left Los Angeles in the early seventies and established a 
coffee-plantation in South America where, one day, he was 
killed by a native wielding a machete. 

The place, which was then known as Joe Bayer's, came to 
belong to Bob Eckert, a German of ruddy complexion and 
auburn hair, whose good-nature brought him so much patron- 
age that in course of time he opened a large establishment at 
Santa Monica. 

John D. Woodworth, a cousin, so it was said, of Samuel 
Woodworth, the author of The Old Oaken Bucket, and father of 
Wallace Woodworth who died in 1883, was among the citizens 
active here in 1858, being appointed Postmaster, on May 19th 
of that year, by President Buchanan. Then the Post Office, for 
a twelvemonth in the old Lanfranco Block, was transferred 
north on Main Street until, a year or two later, it was located 
near Temple and Spring streets. 

In June, the Surveyor-General of California made an 
unexpected demand on the authorities of Los Angeles County 
for all the public documents relating to the County history 
under Spanish and Mexican rule. The request was at first 
refused ; but finally, despite the indignant protests of the press, 
the invaluable records were shipped to San Francisco, 

I believe it was late in the fifties that O. W. Childs con- 
tracted with the City of Los Angeles to dig a water-ditch, per- 
haps sixteen hundred feet long, eighteen inches wide and about 
eighteen inches deep. As I recollect the transaction, the City 
allowed him one dollar per running foot, and he took land in 
payment. While I cannot remember the exact location of this 
land, it comprised in part the wonderfully important square 
beginning at Sixth Street and running to Twelfth, and taking 
in everything from Main Street as far as and including the pre- 
sent Figueroa. When Childs put this property on the market, 
his wife named several of the streets. Because of some grass- 
hoppers in the vicinity, she called the extension of Pearl Street 

232 Sixty Years in Southern California [1858 

(now Figueroa) Grasshopper or Calle de los Chapiiles ' ; her Faith 
Street has been changed to Flower ; for the next street to the 
East, she selected the name of Hope; while as if to complete 
the trio of the Graces, she christened the adjoining roadway 
— since become Grand — Charity. The old Childs home place 
sold to Henry E. Huntington some years ago, and which has 
been subdivided, was a part of this land. 

None of the old settlers ever placed much value on real 
estate, and Childs had no sooner closed this transaction than 
he proceeded to distribute some of the land among his own 
and his wife's relatives. He also gave to the Catholic Church 
the block later bounded by Sixth and Seventh streets, between 
Broadway and Hill; where, until a few years ago, stood St. 
Vincent's College, opened in 1855 on the Plaza, on the site now 
occupied by the Pekin Curio Store. In the Boom year of 1887, 
the Church authorities sold this block for one hundred thousand 
dollars and moved the school to the corner of Charity and 
Washington streets. 

Andrew A. Boyle, for whom the eastern suburb of Los 
Angeles, Boyle Heights, was named by William H. Workman, 
arrived here in 1858. As early as 1848, Boyle had set out from 
Mexico, where he had been in business, to return to the United 
States, taking with him some twenty thousand IMexican dol- 
lars, at that time his entire fortune, safely packed in a forti- 
fied claret box. While attempting to board a steamer from 
a frail skiff at the mouth of the Rio Grande, the churning by 
the paddle-wheels capsized the skiff, and Boyle and his treasure 
were thrown into the water. Boyle narrowly escaped with his 
life ; but his treasure went to the bottom, never to be recovered. 
It was then said that Boyle had perished; and his wife, on 
hearing the false report, was killed by the shock. Quite as 
serious, perhaps, was the fact that an infant daughter was left 
on his hands — the same daughter who later became the wife 
of my friend, William H. Workman. Confiding this child to an 
aunt, Boyle went to the Isthmus where he opened a shoe store; 

'A Mexican corruption of the Aztec chapollin, grasshopper. Cf. Chapulte- 
pec, Grasshopper Hill. — Charles F. Lummis. 

i8s8] Marriage — The Butterfield Stages 233 

and later coming north, after a San Francisco experience in 
the wholesale boot and shoe business, he settled on the bluff 
which was to be thereafter associated with his family name. 
He also planted a small vineyard, and in the early seventies 
commenced to make wine, digging a cellar out of the hill to 
store his product. 

The brick house, built by Boyle on the Heights in 1858 and 
always a center of hospitality, is still standing, although 
recently remodeled by William H. Workman, Jr. (brother of 
Boyle Workman, the banker), who added a third story and 
made a cosy dwelling ; and it is probably, therefore, the oldest 
brick structure in that part of the town. 

Mendel was a younger brother of Sam Meyer, and it is 
my impression that he arrived here in the late fifties. He orig- 
inally clerked for his brother, and for a short time was in part- 
nership with him and Hilliard Loewenstein. In time, Meyer 
engaged in business for himself. During a number of his best 
years, Mendel was well thought of socially, with his fiddle often 
affording much amusement to his friends. All in all, he 
was a good-hearted, jovial sort of a chap, who too readily 
gave to others of his slender means. About 1875, he made 
a visit to Europe and spent more than he could afford. At 
any rate, in later life he did not prosper. He died in Los 
Angeles a number of years ago. 

Thomas Copley came here in 1858, having met with 
many hardships while driving an ox-team from Fort Leaven- 
worth to Salt Lake and tramped the entire eight hundred 
miles between the Mormon capital and San Bernardino. On 
arriving, he became a waiter and worked for a while for the 
Sisters' Hospital; subsequently he married a lady of about 
twice his stature, retiring to private life with a competence. 

Another arrival of the late fifties was Manuel Ravenna, 
an Italian. He started a grocery store and continued the 
venture for some time; then he entered the saloon busi- 
ness on Main Street. Ravenna commissioned Wells Fargo 
& Company to bring by express the first ice shipped to Los 
Angeles for a commercial purpose, paying for it an initial price 

234 Sixty Years in Southern California [1858 

of twelve and a half cents per pound. The ice came packed 
in blankets ; but the loss by melting, plus the expense of getting 
it here, made the real cost about twenty-four cents a pound. 
Nevertheless, it was a clever and profitable move, and brought 
Ravenna nearly all of the best trade in town. 

John Butterfield was originally a New York stage-driver and 
later the organizer of the American Express Company, as well 
as projector of the Morse telegraph line between New York and 
Buffalo. As the head of John Butterfield & Company, he was 
one of my customers in 1857. He contracted with the United 
States, in 1858, as President of the Overland Mail Company, to 
carry mail between San Francisco and the Missouri River. To 
make this possible, sections of the road, afterward popularly 
referred to as the Butterfield Route, were built; and the sur- 
veyors. Bishop and Beale, were awarded the contract for part 
of the work. It is my recollection that they used for this 
purpose some of the camels imported by the United States 
Government, and that these animals were in charge of Greek 
George to whom I have already referred. 

Butterfield chose a route from San Francisco coming down 
the Coast to Gilroy, San Jose and through the mountain passes; 
on to Visalia and Fort Tejon, and then to Los Angeles, in all 
some four hundred and sixty-two miles. From Los Angeles it 
ran eastward through El Monte, San Bernardino, Temecula 
and Warner's Ranch to Fort Yuma, and then by way of El Paso 
to St. Louis. In this manner, Butterfield arranged for what 
was undoubtedly the longest continuous stage-line ever estab- 
lished, the entire length being about two thousand, eight hun- 
dred and eighty miles. The Butterfield stages began running in 
September, 1858; and when the first one from the East reached 
Los Angeles on October 7th, just twenty days after it started, 
there was a great demonstration, accompanied by bon-fires and 
the firing of cannon. On this initial trip, just one passenger 
made the through journey — W. L. Ormsby, a reporter for the 
New York Herald. This stage reached San Francisco on October 
loth, and there the accomplishment was the occasion, as we 
soon heard, of almost riotous enthusiasm. 

1858] Marriage — The Butterfield Stages 235 

Stages were manned by a driver and a conductor or mes- 
senger, both heavily armed. Provender and relief stations were 
established along the route, as a rule not more than twenty 
miles apart, and sometimes half that distance. The schedule 
first called for two stages a week, then one stage in each direc- 
tion, every other day; and after a while this plan was altered to 
provide for a stage every day. There was little regularity, 
however, in the hours of departure, and still less in the time 
of arrival, and I recollect once leaving for San Francisco at 
the unearthly hour of two o'clock in the morning. 

So uncertain, indeed, were the arrival and departure of 
stages, that not only were passengers often left behind, but mails 
were actually undelivered because no authorized person was on 
hand, in the lone hours of the night, to receive and distribute 
them. Such a ridiculous incident occurred in the fall of 1858, 
when bags of mail destined for Los Angeles were carried on 
to San Francisco, and were returned by the stage making its 
way south and east, fully six days later! Local newspapers 
were then more or less dependent for their exchanges from 
the great Eastern centers on the courtesy of drivers or 
agents; and editors were frequently acknowledging the 
receipt of such bundles, from which, with scissors and paste, 
they obtained the so-called news items furnished to their 

George Lechler, here in 1853, who married Henry Hazard's 
sister, drove a Butterfield stage and picked up orders for me 
from customers along the route. 

B. W. Pyle, a Virginian by birth, arrived in Los Angeles in 
1858, and became, as far as I can recall, the first exclusive 
jeweler and watchmaker, although Charley Ducommun, as 
I have said, had handled jewelry and watches some years 
before in connection with other things. Pyle's store adjoined 
that of Newmark, Kremer & Company on Commercial Street, 
and I soon became familiar with his methods. He com- 
missioned many of the stage-drivers to work up business for him 
on the Butterfield Route ; and as his charges were enormous, he 
was enabled, within three or four years, to establish himself in 

236 Sixty Years in Southern California [1858 

New York. He was an exceedingly clever and original man and 
a good student of human affairs, and I well remember his pre- 
diction that, if Lincoln should be elected President, there would 
be Civil War. When the United States Government first had 
under consideration the building of a trans-isthmian canal, 
Pyle bought large tracts of land in Nicaragua, believing that the 
Nicaraguan route would eventually be chosen. Shortly after 
the selection of the Panama survey, however, I read one day in 
a local newspaper that B. W. Pyle had shot himself, at the age 
of seventy years. 

In 1857, Phineas Banning purchased from one of the Do- 
minguez brothers an extensive tract some miles to the North 
of San Pedro, along the arm of the sea, and established a new 
landing which, in a little while, was to monopolize the harbor 
business and temporarily affect all operations at the old place. 
Here, on September 25th, 1858, he started a community called at 
first both San Pedro New Town and New San Pedro, and later 
Wilmington — the latter name suggested by the capital of 
Banning's native State of Delaware. Banning next cultivated 
a tract of six hundred acres, planted with grain and fruit 
where, among other evidences of his singular enterprise, there was 
soon to be seen a large Well, connected with a steam pump of 
sufficient force to supply the commercial and irrigation wants of 
both Wilmington and San Pedro. Banning's founding of the 
former town was due, in part, to heavy losses sustained through 
a storm that seriously damaged his wharf, and in part to his 
desire to outdo J. J. Tomlinson, his chief business rival. The 
inauguration of the new shipping point, on October 1st, 1858, 
was celebrated by a procession on the water, when a line of 
barges loaded with visitors from Los Angeles and vicinity, and 
with freight, was towed to the decorated landing. A feature 
of the dedication was the assistance rendered by the ladies, 
who even tugged at the hawser, following which host and guests 
liberally partook of the sparkling beverages contributing to 
enliven the festive occasion. 

In a short time, the shipping there gave evidence of Ban- 
ning's wonderful go-ahead spirit. He had had built, in San 

1858] Marriage — The Butterfield Stages 237 

Francisco, a small steamer and some lighters, for the purpose of 
carrying passengers and baggage to the large steamships lying 
outside the harbor. The enterprise was a shrewd move, for it 
shortened the stage-trip about six miles and so gave the new 
route a considerable advantage over that of all competitors. 
Banning, sometimes dubbed "the Admiral," about the same 
time presented town lots to all of his friends (including Eugene 
Meyer and myself) , and with Timms Landing, the place became 
a favorite beach resort; but for want of foresight, most of these 
same lots were sold for taxes in the days of long ago. I kept 
mine for many years and finally sold it for twelve hundred 
dollars; while Meyer still owns his. As for Banning himself, 
he built a house on Canal Street which he occupied many years, 
until he moved to a more commodious home situated half a 
mile north of the original location. 

At about this period, three packets plied between San 
Francisco and San Diego every ten days, leaving the Com- 
mercial Street wharf of the Northern city and stopping at 
various intermediate points including Wilmington. These 
packets were the clipper-brig Pride of the Sea, Captain Joseph 
S. Garcia; the clipper-brig Boston, Commander W. H. Martin; 
and the clipper-schooner Lewis Perry, then new and in charge 
of Captain Hughes. 

In the fall of 1858, finding that our business was not suffi- 
ciently remunerative to support four families, Newmark, 
Kremer & Company dissolved. In the dissolution, I took the 
clothing part of the business, Newmark & Kremer retaining 
the dry goods. 

In November or December, Dr. John S. Griffin acquired 
San Pasqual rancho, the fine property which had once been 
the pride of Don Manuel Garfias. The latter had borrowed 
three thousand dollars, at four per cent, per month, to complete 
his manorial residence, which cost some six thousand dollars 
to build; but the ranch proving unfavorable for cattle, and Don 
Manuel being a poor manager, the debt of three thousand dol- 
lars soon grew into almost treble the original amount. When 
Griffin purchased the place, he gave Garfias an additional two 

238 Sixty Years in Southern California I1858 

thousand dollars to cover the stock, horses and ranch- tools; 
but even at that the doctor drove a decided bargain. As early 
as 1852, Garfias had applied to the Land Commission for a 
patent; but this was not issued until April 3d, 1863, and the 
document, especially interesting because it bore the signature of 
Abraham Lincoln, brought little consolation to Garfias or his 
proud wife, nee Abila, who had then signed away all claim to 
the splendid property which was in time to play such a role in 
the development of Los Angeles, Pasadena and their environs. 

On November 20th, Don Bernardo Yorba died, bequeathing 
to numerous children and grandchildren an inheritance of one 
hundred and ten thousand dollars' worth of personal property, 
in addition to thirty-seven thousand acres of land. 

Sometime in December, 1858, Juan Domingo — or, as he 
was often called, Juan Cojo or "Lame John," because of a 
peculiar limp — died at his vineyard on the south side of 
Aliso Street, having for years enjoyed the esteem of the 
community as a good, substantial citizen. Domingo, who 
successfully conducted a wine and brandy business, was a 
Hollander by birth, and in his youth had borne the name of 
Johann Groningen; but after coming to California and settling 
among the Latin element, he had changed it, for what reason 
will never be known, to Juan Domingo, the Spanish for John 
Sunday. The coming of Domingo, in 1827, was not without 
romance; he was a ship's carpenter and one of a crew of twenty- 
five on the brig Danube which sailed from New York and was 
totally wrecked off San Pedro, only two or three souls (among 
them Domingo) being saved and hospitably welcomed by the 
citizens. On February 12th, 1839, he married a Spanish woman, 
Reymunda Feliz, by whom he had a large family of children. 
A son, J. A. Domingo, was li\dng until at least recently. A 
souvenir of Domingo's lameness, in the County Museum, is a 
cane with which the doughty sailor often defended himself. 
Samuel Prentiss, a Rliode Islander, was another of the Danube* s 
shipwrecked sailors who was saved. He hunted and fished for 
a living and, about 1864 or 1865, died on Catalina Island; and 
there, in a secluded spot, not far from the seat of his labors, 

1858] Marriage — The Butterfield Stages 239 

he was buried. As the resuh of a complicated lumber deal, 
Captain Joseph S. Garcia, of the Pride of the Sea, obtained an 
interest in a small vineyard owned by Juan Domingo and 
Sainsevain; and through this relation Garcia became a minor 
partner of Sainsevain in the Cucamonga winery. Mrs. Garcia 
is living in Pomona; the Captain died some ten years ago at 

A propos of the three Louis, referred to — Breer, Lichtenbergcr 
and Rocder — all of that sturdy German stock which makes for 
good American citizenship, I do not suppose that there is any 
record of the exact date of Breer's arrival, although I imagine 
that it was in the early sixties. Lichtenberger, who served both as 
a City Father and City Treasurer, anived in 1864, while Roeder 
used to boast that the ship on which he sailed to San Francisco, 
just prior to his coming to Los Angeles, in 1856 brought the 
first news of Buchanan's election to the Presidency. Of the 
three, Breer — who was known as Iron Louis, on account of his 
magnificent physique, suggesting the poet's smith, "with large 
and sinewy hands," and muscles as "strong as iron bands," — was 
the least successful ; and truly, till the end of his days, he earned 
his living by th? sweat of his brow. In 1865, Lichtenberger 
and Roeder formed a partnership which, in a few years, was 
dissolved, each of them then conducting business independently 
until, in comfortable circumstances, he retired. Roeder, an 
early and enthusiastic member of the Pioneers, is never so proud 
as when paying his last respects to a departed comrade: his 
unfeigned sorrow at the loss apparently being compensated for, 
if one may so express it, by the recognition he enjoyed as one 
of the society's official committee. Two of the three Louis are 
dead. ' Other early wheelwrights and blacksmiths were Richard 
Maloney, on Aliso Street, near Lambourn & Turner's grocery, 
and Page & Gravel, who took John Goller's shop when he 
joined F. Foster at his Aliso Street forge. 

' Louis Roeder died on February 20, 191 5 



IN 1858, my brother, to whom the greater opportunities of 
San Francisco had long appealed, decided upon a step 
that was to affect considerably my own modest affairs. 
This was to remove permanently to the North, with my sister- 
in-law; and in the Los Angeles Star oi January 226., 1859, there 
appeared the following : 

Mr. Joseph P. Newmark has established a commission- 
house in San Francisco, with a branch in this city. From his 
experience in business, Mr. Newmark will be a most desirable 
agent for the sale of our domestic produce in the San Francisco 
market, and we have no doubt will obtain the confidence of our 
merchants and shippers. 

This move of my brother's was made, as a matter of fact, at 
a time when Los Angeles, in one or two respects at least, seemed 
promising. On September 30th, the building commenced by 
John Temple in the preceding February, on the site of the pres- 
ent Bullard Block, was finished. JMost of the upper floor was 
devoted to a theater, and I am inclined to think that the balance 
of the building was leased to the City, the court room being 
next to the theater, and the ground floor being used as a 
market. To the latter move there was considerable opposi- 
tion, affecting, as the expenditures did, taxes and the public 
treasury; and one newspaper, after a spirited attack on the 
"Black Republicans," concluded its editorial with this patri- 
otic appeal: 


[1859] Admission to Citizenship 241 

Citizens! Attend to your interests; guard your pocket- 
books ! 

This building is one of the properties to which I refer as sold 
by Hinchman, having been bought by Dr. J. S. Griffin and B. 
D. Wilson who resold it in time to the County. 

A striking feature of this market building was the town clock, 
whose bell was pronounced "fine-toned and sonorous." The 
clock and bell, however, were destined to share the fate of the 
rest of the structure which, all in all, was not very well con- 
structed. At last, the heavy rains of the early sixties played 
havoc with the tower, and toward the end of 1861 the clock 
had set such a pace for itself regardless of the rest of the uni- 
verse that the newspapers were full of facetious jibes concerning 
the once serviceable timepiece, and many were the queries as 
to whether something could not be done to roof the mechanism ? 
The clock, however, remained uncovered until Bullard de- 
molished the building to make room for the present structure. 

Elsewhere I have referred to the attempt, shortly after I 
arrived here, or during the session of the Legislature of 1854-55, 
to divide California into two states — the proposition, be it 
added of a San Bernardino County representative. A committee 
of thirteen, from different sections of the commonwealth, later 
substituted a bill providing for three states: Shasta, in the 
North; California, at the middle; Colorado, in the South; but 
nothing evolving as a result of the effort, our Assemblyman, 
Andres Pico, in 1859 fathered a measure for the segregation of 
the Southern counties under the name of Colorado, when this 
bill passed both houses and was signed by the Governor. It 
had to be submitted to the people, however, at the election in 
September, 1859; and although nearly twenty-five hundred 
ballots were cast in favor of the division, as against eight 
hundred in the negative, the movement was afterward stifled 
in Washington. 

Damien Marchessault and Victor Beaudry having enthusi- 
astically organized the Santa Anita Mining Company in 1858, 
H. N. Alexander, agent at Los Angeles for Wells Fargo & 
Company, in 1859 announced that the latter had provided 

242 Sixty Years in Southern California [1859 

scales for weighing gold-dust and were prepared to transact a 
general exchange business. This was the same firm that had 
come through the crisis with unimpaired credit when Adams 
& Company and many others went to the wall in the great 
financial crash of 1855. 

I have mentioned the IMormon Colony at San Bernardino 
and its connection, as an offshoot, with the great IMormon city, 
Salt Lake; now I may add that each winter, for fifteen or 
twenty years, or until railroad connection was established, a 
lively and growing trade was carried on between Los Angeles 
and Utah. This was because the Mormons had no open road 
toward the outside world, except in the direction of South- 
ern California; for snow covered both the Rockies and the 
Sierra Nevadas, and closed every other highway and trail. 
A number of IMormon wagon-trains, therefore, went back and 
forth every winter over the seven hundred miles or more of 
fairly level, open roadways, between Salt Lake and Los Angeles, 
taking back not only goods bought here but much that was 
shipped from San Francisco to Salt Lake via San Pedro. I 
remember that in February, 1859, these IMormon wagons 
arrived by the Overland Route almost daily. 

The third week in February witnessed one of the most 
interesting gatherings of rancheros characteristic of Southern 
California life I have ever seen. It was a typical rodeo, last- 
ing two or three days, for the separating and re-grouping of cat- 
tle and horses, and took place at the residence of William 
Workman at La Puente rancho. Strictly speaking, the rodeo 
continued but two days, or less; for, inasmuch as the cattle to 
be sorted and branded had to be deprived for the time being of 
their customary nourishment, the work was necessarily one of 
despatch. Under the direction of a Judge of the Plains — on 
this occasion, the polished cavalier, Don Felipe Lugo — they 
were examined, parted and branded, or re-branded, with hot 
irons impressing a mark (generally a letter or odd mono- 
gram) dul}'- registered at the Court House and protected by 
the County Recorder's certificate. Never have I seen finer 
horsemanship than was there displayed by those whose task it 

i859l Admission to Citizenship 243 

was to pursue the animal and throw the lasso around the 
head or leg ; and as often as most of those present had probably 
seen the feat performed, great was their enthusiasm when each 
vaquero brought down his victim. Among the guests were 
most of the rancheros of wealth and note, together with their 
attendants, all of whom made up a company ready to enjoy 
the unlimited hospitality for which the Workmans were so 

Aside from the business in hand of disposing of such an 
enormous number of mixed-up cattle in so short a time, what 
made the occasion one of keen delight was the remarkable, 
almost astounding ability of the horseman in controlling his 
animal ; for lassoing cattle was not his only forte. The vaquero of 
early days was a clever rider and handler of horses, particularly 
the bronco — so often erroneously spelled broncho — sometimes 
a mustang, sometimes an Indian pony. Out of a drove that 
had never been saddled, he would lasso one, attach a halter to 
his neck and blindfold him by means of a strap some two or 
three inches in width fastened to the halter; after which he 
would suddenly mount the bronco and remove the blind, when 
the horse, unaccustomed to discipline or restraint, would buck 
and kick for over a quarter of a mile, and then stop only because 
of exhaustion. With seldom a mishap, however, the vaquero 
almost invariably broke the mustang to the saddle within three 
or four days. This little Mexican horse, while perhaps not 
so graceful as his American brother, was noted for endurance; 
and he could lope from morning till night, if necessary, without 
evidence of serious fatigue. 

Speaking of this dexterity, I may add that now and then 
the early Californian vaquero gave a good exhibition of his 
prowess in the town itself. Runaways, due in part to the 
absence of hitching posts but frequently to carelessness, 
occurred daily ; and sometimes a clever horseman who happened 
to be near would pursue, overtake and lasso the frightened 
steed before serious harm had been done. 

Among the professional classes, J. Lancaster Brent was 
always popular, but never more welcomed than on his return 

244 Sixty Years in Southern California [1859 

from Washington on February 26th, 1859, when he brought the 
United States patent to the Dominguez rancho, dated December 
1 8th, 1858, and the first document of land conveyance from the 
American Government to reach Cahfornia. 

In mercantile circles, Adolph Portugal became somewhat 
prominent, conducting a flourishing business here for a number 
of years after opening in 1854, ^^^d accumulating, before 1865, 
about seventy-five thousand dollars. With this money he then 
left Los Angeles and went to Europe, where he made an ex- 
tremely unprofitable investment. He returned to Los Angeles 
and again engaged in mercantile pursuits ; but he was never able 
to recover, and died a pauper. 

Corbitt, who at one time controlled, with Dibblee,- great 
ranch areas near Santa Barbara, and in 1859 was in partnership 
with Barker, owned the Santa Anita rancho, which he later 
sold to William Wolfskill. From Los Angeles, Corbitt went to 
Oregon, where he became, I think, a leading banker. 

Louis Mesmer arrived here in 1858, then went to Fraser 
River and there, in eight months, he made twenty thousand 
dollars by baking for the Hudson Bay Company's troops. 
A year later he was back in Los Angeles; and on Main Street, 
somewhere near Requena, he started a bakery. In time he 
controlled the local bread trade, supplying among others the 
Government troops here. In 1864, Mesmer bought out the 
United States Hotel, previously run by Webber & Haas, and 
finally purchased from Don Juan N. Padilla the land on which 
the building stood. This property, costing three thousand 
dollars, extended one hundred and forty feet on Main Street 
and ran through to Los Angeles, on which street it had a 
frontage of about sixty feet. Mesmer's son Joseph is still 
living and is active in civic affairs. 

William Nordholt, a Forty-niner, was also a resident of 
Los Angeles for some time. He was a carpenter and worked 
in partnership with Jim Barton; and when Barton was elected 
Sheriff, Nordholt continued in business for himself. At length, 
in 1859, he opened a grocery store on the northwest corner of 
Los Angeles and First streets, which he conducted for many 

1859] Admission to Citizenship 245 

years. Even in 1853, when I first knew him, Nordholt had 
made a good start ; and he soon accumulated considerable real 
estate on First Street, extending from Los Angeles to Main. 
He shared his possessions with his Spanish wife, who attended 
to his grocery; but after his death, in perhaps the late seventies, 
his children wasted their patrimony. 

Notwithstanding the opening of other hotels, the Bella 
Union continued throughout the fifties to be the representa- 
tive headquarters of its kind in Los Angeles and for a wide 
area around. On April 19th, 1856, Flashner & Hammell took 
hold of the establishment ; and a couple of years after that, 
Dr. J. B. Winston, who had had local hotel experience, joined 
Flashner and together they made improvements, adding the 
second story, which took five or six months to complete. This 
step forward in the hostelry was duly celebrated, on April 14th, 
1859, at a dinner, the new dining-room being advertised, far 
and wide, as "one of the finest in all California." 

Shortly after this, however, Marcus Flashner (who owned 
some thirty-five acres at the corner of Main and Washington 
streets, where he managed either a vineyard or an orange 
orchard) , met a violent death. He used to travel to and from 
this property in a buggy; and one day — ^June 29th, 1859 — his 
horse ran away, throwing him out and killing him. In i860, 
John King, Flashner's brother-in-law, entered the management 
of the Bella Union; and by 1861, Dr. Winston had sole control. 

Strolling again, in imagination, into the old Bella Union of 
this time, I am reminded of a novel method then employed to 
call the guests to their meals. When I first came to Los Angeles 
the hotel waiter rang a large bell to announce that all was ready ; 
but about the spring of 1859 the fact that another meal had 
been concocted was signalized by the blowing of a shrill steam- 
whistle placed on the hotel's roof. This brought together 
both the "regulars" and transients, everyone scurrying to be 
first at the dining-room door. 

About the middle of April, Wells Fargo & Company's 
rider made a fast run between San Pedro and Los Angeles, 
bringing all the mail matter from the vessels, and covering the 

246 Sixty Years in Southern California [1859 

more than twenty-seven miles of the old roimdabout route in 
less than an hour. 

The Protestant Church has been represented in Los Angeles 
since the first service in Mayor Nichols' home and the mission- 
ary work of Adam Bland; but it was not until May 4th, 1859, 
that any attempt was made to erect an edifice for the Protestants 
in the community. Then a committee, including Isaac S. K. 
Ogier, A. J. King, Columbus Sims, Thomas Foster, William H. 
Shore, N. A. Potter, J. R. Gitchell and Henry D. Barrows 
began to collect funds. Reverend William E. Boardman, an 
Episcopalian, was invited to take charge; but subscriptions 
coming in slowly, he conducted services, first in one of the 
school buildings and then in the Court House, until 1862 when 
he left. 

Despite its growing communication with San Francisco, 
Los Angeles for years was largely dependent upon sail and 
steamboat service, and each year the need of a better highway 
to the North, for stages, became more and more apparent. 
Finally, in May, 1859, General Ezra Drown was sent as a 
commissioner to Santa Barbara, to discuss the construction of 
a road to that city; and on his return he declared the project 
quite practicable. The Supervisors had agreed to devote a 
certain sum of money, and the Santa Barbarenos, on their part, 
were to vote on the proposition of appropriating fifteen thousand 
dollars for the work. Evidently the citizens voted favorably; 
for in July of the following year James Thompson, of Los 
Angeles, contracted for making the new road through Santa 
Barbara County, from the Los Angeles to the San Luis Obispo 
lines, passing through Ventura — or San Buenaventura, as it 
was then more poetically called — Santa Barbara and out by 
the Gaviota Pass; in all, a distance of about one hundred and 
twenty-five miles. Some five or six months were required 
to finish the rough work, and over thirty thousand dollars 
was expended for that alone. 

Winfield Scott Hancock, whom I came to know well and 
who had been here before, arrived in Los Angeles in May, 
1859, to establish a depot for the Quartermaster's Department 

1859] Admission to Citizenship 247 

which he finally located at Wilmington, naming it Drum 
Barracks, after Adjutant-General Richard Coulter Drum, for 
several years at the head of the Department of the West. 
Hancock himself was Quartermaster and had an office in a 
brick building on Main Street near Third; and he was in charge 
of all Government property here and at Yuma, Arizona Terri- 
tory, then a military post. He thus both bought and sold; 
advertising at one time, for example, a call for three or four 
hundred thousand pounds of barley, and again offering for sale, 
on behalf of poor Uncle Sam, the important item of a lone, 
braying mule! Hancock invested liberally in California 
projects, and became interested, with others, in the Bear 
Valley mines ; and at length had the good luck to strike a rich 
and paying vein of gold quartz. 

Beaudry & Marchessault were among the first handlers of 
ice in Los Angeles, having an ice-house in 1859, where, in the 
springtime, they stored the frozen product taken from the 
mountain lakes fifty miles away. The ice was cut into cubes 
of about one hundred pounds each, packed down the canons 
by a train of thirty to forty mules, and then brought in wagons 
to Los Angeles. By September, i860, wagon-loads of San 
Bernardino ice — or perhaps one would better say compact 
snow — were hawked about town and bought up by saloon- 
keepers and others, having been transported in the way I have 
just described, a good seventy-five miles. Later, ice was shipped 
here from San Francisco ; and soon after it reached town, the 
saloons displayed signs soliciting orders. 

Considering the present popularity of the silver dollar 
along the entire Western Coast, it may be interesting to recall 
the stamping of these coins, for the first time in California, at 
the San Francisco mint. This was in the spring of 1859, soon 
after which they began to appear in Los Angeles. A few years 
later, in 1863, and for ten or fifteen years thereafter, silver 
half-dimes, coined in San Francisco, were to be seen here 
occasionally; but they were never popular. The larger silver 
piece, the dime, was more common, although for a while it 
also had little purchasing power. As late as the early seventies 

248 Sixty Years in Southern California [1859 

it was not welcome, and many a time I have seen dimes 
thrown into the street as if they were worthless. This pre- 
judice against the smaller silver coins was much the same as 
the feeling which even to-day obtains with many people on the 
Coast against the copper cent. When the nickel, in the eight- 
ies, came into use, the old Californian tradition as to coinage 
began to disappear; and this opened the way for the intro- 
duction of the one-cent piece, which is more and more coming 
into popular favor. 

In the year 1859, the Hellman brothers, Isaias W. and 
Herman W., arrived here in a sailing-vessel with Captain 
Morton. I. W. Hellman took a clerkship with his cousin, 
I. M. Hellman, who had arrived in 1854 and was established 
in the stationery line in Mellus's Row, while H. W. Hellman 
went to work in June, 1859, for Phineas Banning, at Wil- 
mington. I. W. Hellman immediately showed much ability 
and greatly improved his cousin's business. By 1865, he was 
in trade for himself, selling dry-goods at the corner of Main 
and Commercial streets as the successor to A. Portugal ; while 
H. W. Hellman, father of Marco H. Hellman, the banker, 
and father-in-law of the public-spirited citizen, Louis M. Cole, 
became my competitor, as will be shown later, in the wholesale 
grocery business. 

John Philbin, an Irishman, arrived here penniless late in the 
fifties, but with my assistance started a small store at Fort 
Tejon, then a military post necessary for the preservation of 
order on the Indian Reservation; and there, during the short 
space of eighteen months, he accumulated twenty thousand 
dollars. Illness compelled him to leave, and I bought his 
business and property. After completing this purchase, I en- 
gaged a clerk in San Francisco to manage the new branch. As 
John Philbin had been very popular, the new clerk also called 
himself "John " and soon enjoyed equal favor. It was only 
when Bob Wilson came into town one day from the Fort and 
told me, "That chap John is gambling your whole damned 
business away; he plays seven-up at twenty dollars a game, 
and when out of cash, puts up blocks of merchandise," that I 

1859] Admission to Citizenship 249 

investigated and discharged him, sending Kaspare Cohn, who 
had recently arrived from Europe, to take his place. 

It was in 1859, o^" ^ year before Abraham Lincoln was 
elected President, that I bought out Philbin, and at the break- 
ing out of the War, the troops were withdrawn from Fort 
Tejon, thus ending my activity there as a merchant. We 
disposed of the stock as best we could; but the building, 
which had cost three thousand dollars, brought at forced sale just 
fifty. Fort Tejon, established about 1854, I "^^Y ^^d, after 
it attained some fame as the only military post in Southern 
California where snow ever fell, and also as the scene of the 
earthquake phenomena I have described, was abandoned alto- 
gether as a military station on September nth, 1864. Philbin 
removed to Los Angeles, where he invested in some fifty acres 
of vineyard along San Pedro Street, extending as far south as 
the present Pico ; and I still have a clear impression of the typi- 
cal old adobe there, so badly damaged by the rains of 1890. 

Kaspare remained in my employ until he set up in business 
at Red Bluff, Tehama County, where he continued until Jan- 
uary, 1866. In more recent years, he has come to occupy an 
enviable position as a successful financier. 

Somewhat less than six years after my arrival (or, to be 
accurate, on the fifteenth day of August, 1859, about the time 
of my mother's death at Loebau) , and satisfying one of my most 
ardent ambitions, I entered the family of Uncle Sam, carrying 
from the District Court here a red-sealed document, to m.e of 
great importance ; my newly-acquired citizenship being attested 
by Ch. R. Johnson, Clerk, and John O. Wheeler, Deputy. 

On September 3d, the Los Angeles Star made the following 
announcement and salutation: 

Called to the Bar — At the present term of the District 
Court for the First Judicial District, Mr. M. J. Newmark was 
called to the bar. We congratulate Mr. Newmark on his 
success, and wish him a brilliant career in his profession. 

This kindly reference was to my brother-in-law, who had 
read law in the office of E. J, C, Kewen, then on Main Street, 

250 Sixty Years in Southern California [1859 

opposite the Bella Union, and had there, in the preceding 
January, when already eleven attorneys were practicing here, 
hung out his shingle as Notary Public and Conveyancer — 
an office to which he was reappointed by the Governor in i860, 
soon after he had been made Commissioner for the State of 
Missouri to reside in Los Angeles. About that same time he 
began to take a lively interest in politics; being elected, on 
October 13th, i860, a delegate to the Democratic County Con- 
vention, A. J. King was also admitted to the Bar toward the 
end of that year. 

We who have such praise for the rapid growth of the 
population in Los Angeles must not forget the faithful mid- 
wives of early days, when there was not the least indication 
that there would ever be a lying-in hospital here. First, one 
naturally recalls old Mrs. Simmons, the Sarah Gamp of the 
fifties; while her professional sister of the sixties was Lydia 
Rebbick, whose name also will be pleasantly spoken by old- 
timers. A brother of Mrs. Rebbick was James H. Whitworth, 
a rancher, who came to Los Angeles County in 1857. 

Residents of Los Angeles to-day have but a faint idea, I 
suppose, of what exertion we cheerfully submitted to, forty or 
fifty years ago, in order to participate in a little pleasure. 
This was shown at an outing in 1859, on and by the sea, made 
possible through the courtesy of my hospitable friend, Phineas 
Banning, details of which illustrate the social conditions then 
prevailing here. 

Banning had invited fifty or sixty ladies and gentlemen to 
accompany him to Catalina ; and at about half-past five o'clock 
on a June morning the guests arrived at Banning's residence 
where they partook of refreshments. Then they started in 
decorated stages for New San Pedro, where the host (who, by 
the way, was a man of most genial temperament, fond of a joke 
and sure to infuse others with his good-heartedness) regaled 
his friends with a hearty breakfast, not forgetting anything 
likely to both warm and cheer. After ample justice had been 
done to this feature, the picknickers boarded Banning's Httle 
steamer Comet and made for the outer harbor. 

1859] Admission to Citizenship 251 

There they were transferred to the United States Coast 
Survey ship Active, which steamed away so spiritedly that in 
two hours the passengers were off CataHna ; nothing meanwhile 
having been left undone to promote the comfort of everyone 
aboard the vessel. During this time Captain Alder and his 
officers, resplendent in their naval uniforms, held a reception; 
and unwilling that the merrymakers should be exposed without 
provisions to the wilds of the less-trodden island, they set be- 
fore them a substantial ship's dinner. Once ashore, the visitors 
strolled along the beach and across that part of the island 
then most familiar; and at four o'clock the members of the 
party were again walking the decks of the Government vessel. 
Steaming back slowly, San Pedro was reached after sundown ; 
and, having again been bundled into the stages, the excursionists 
were back in Los Angeles about ten o'clock. 

I have said that most of the early political meetings took 
place at the residence of Don Ygnacio del Valle. I recall, 
however, a mass meeting and barbecue, in August, 1859, in a 
grove at El Monte owned by inn-keeper Thompson. Benches 
were provided for the ladies, prompting the editor of the Star to 
observe, with characteristic gallantry, that the seats "were 
fully occupied by an array of beauty such as no other portion of 
the State ever witnessed." 

On September nth, Eberhard & Koll opened the Lafayette 
Hotel on Main Street, on the site opposite the Bella Union 
where once had stood the residence of Don Eulogio de Cells. 
Particular inducements to families desiring quiet and the 
attraction of a table "supplied with the choicest viands and 
delicacies of the season" were duly advertised; but the pro- 
prietors met with only a moderate response. On January ist, 
1862, Eberhard withdrew and Frederick W. Koll took into 
partnership Henry Dockweiler — father of two of our very promi- 
nent young men, J. H. Dockweiler, the civil engineer and, in 
1889, City Surveyor, and Isidore B. Dockweiler, the attorney 
— and Chris Fluhr. In two years, Dockweiler had withdrawn, 
leaving Fluhr as sole proprietor; and he continued as such until, 
in the seventies, he took Charles Gerson into partnership with 

252 Sixty Years in Southern California [1859 

him. It is my recollection, in fact, that Fluhr was associated 
with this hotel in one capacity or another until its name was 
changed, first to the CosmopoHtan and then to the St. Elmo. 

Various influences contributed to causing radical social 
changes, particularly throughout the county. When Dr. John 
S. Griffin and other pioneers came here, they were astonished at 
the hospitality of the ranch-owners, who provided for them, how- 
ever numerous, shelter, food and even fresh saddle-horses ; and 
this bounteous provision for the wayfarer continued until the 
migrating population had so increased as to become something 
of a burden and economic conditions put a brake on imlimited 
entertainment. Then a slight reaction set in, and by the 
sixties a movement to demand some compensation for such 
service began to make itself felt. In 1859, Don Vicente de la 
Osa advertised that he would afford accommodation for travel- 
ers by way of his ranch, El Eytcino; but that to protect himself, 
he must consider it "an essential part of the arrangement that 
visitors should act on the good old rule and — pay as one goes!" 

In 1859, C. H. Classen, a native of Germany, opened a cigar 
factory in the Signoret Building on Main Street, north of 
Arcadia; and believing that tobacco could be successfully 
grown in Los Angeles County, he sent to Cuba for some seed 
and was soon making cigars from the local product. I fancy 
that the plants degenerated because, although others experi- 
mented with Los Angeles tobacco, the growing of the leaf here 
was abandoned after a few years. H. Newmark & Company 
handled much tobacco for sheep-wash, and so came to buy the 
last Southern California crop. When I speak of sheep-wash, 
I refer to a solution made by steeping tobacco in water and 
used to cure a skin disease known as scab. It was always 
applied after shearing, for then the wool could not be affected 
and the process was easier. 

Talking of tobacco, I may say that the commercial cigarette 
now for sale everywhere was not then to be seen. People 
rolled their own cigarettes, generally using brown paper, but 
sometimes the white, which came in reams of sheets about six 
by ten inches in size. Kentucky leaf was most in vogue; and 

i859l Admission to Citizenship 253 

the first brand of granulated tobacco that I remember was 
known as Sultana. Clay pipes, then packed in barrels, were 
used a good deal more than now, and brier pipes much less. 
There was no duty on imported cigars, and their consequent 
cheapness brought them into general consumption. Practi- 
cally all of the native female population smoked cigarettes, 
for it was a custom of the country ; but the American ladies 
did not indulge. While spending an enjoyable hour at the 
County Museum recently, I noticed a cigarette-case of finely- 
woven matting that once belonged to Antonio Maria Lugo, 
and a bundle of cigarettes, rolled up, like so many matches, by 
Andres Pico; and both the Httle cigarillos and the holder will 
give a fair understanding of these customs of the past. 

Besides the use of tobacco in cigar and cigarette form, and 
for pipes, there was much consumption of the weed by chewers. 
Peachbrand, a black plug saturated with molasses and packed 
in caddies — a term more commonly applied to little boxes for 
tea— was the favorite chewing tobacco fifty years or more ago. 
It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that nine out of ten 
Americans in Los Angeles indulged in this habit, some of whom 
certainly exposed us to the criticism of Charles Dickens and 
others, who found so much fault with our manners. 

The pernicious activity of rough or troublesome characters 
brings to recollection an aged Indian named Polonia, whom 
pioneers will easily recollect as having been bereft of his sight, 
by his own people, because of his unnatural ferocity. He was 
six feet four inches in height, and had once been endowed with 
great physical strength; he was clad, for the most part, in a 
tattered blanket, so that his mere appearance was sufficient to 
impress, if not to intimidate, the observer. Only recently, in 
fact, Mrs. Solomon Lazard told me that to her and her girl 
playmates Polonia and his fierce countenance were the terror 
of their lives. He may thus have deserved to forfeit his life for 
many crimes ; but the idea of cutting a man's eyes out for any of- 
fense whatever, no matter how great, is revolting in the extreme. 
The year I arrived, and for some time thereafter, Polonia 
slept by night in the corridor of Don Manuel Requena's house. 

254 Sixty Years in Southern California [1859 

With the aid of only a very long stick, this blind Indian was 
able to find his way all over the town. 

Sometime in 1859, Daniel Sexton, a veteran of the battles of 
San Bartolo and the Mesa, became possessed of the idea that 
gold was secreted in large sacks near the ruins of San Juan 
Capistrano; and getting permission, he burrowed so far beneath 
the house of a citizen that the latter, fearing his whole home 
was likely to cave in, frantically begged the gold-digger to 
desist. Sexton, in fact, came near digging his own grave 
instead of another's, and was for a while the good-natured 
butt of many a pun. 

Jacob A. Moerenhout, a native of Antwerp, Belgium, who 
had been French Consul for a couple of years at Monterey, in 
the latter days of the Mexican regime, removed to Los Angeles 
on October 29th, 1859, ^^ which occasion the Consular flag of 
France was raised at his residence in this city. As early as 
January 13th, 1835, President Andrew Jackson had appointed 
Moerenhout "U. S. Consul to Otaheite and the Rest of the 
Society Islands," the original Consular document, with its 
quaint spelling and signed by the vigorous pen of that Presi- 
dent, existing to-day in a collection owned by Dr. E. M. CHnton 
of Los Angeles ; and the Belgian had thus so profited by experi- 
ence in promoting trade and amicable relations between foreign 
nations that he was prepared to make himself persona grata 
here. Salvos of cannon were fired, while the French citizens, 
accompanied by a band, formed in procession and marched 
to the Plaza. In the afternoon, Don Louis Sainsevain in 
honor of the event set a groaning and luxurious table for a 
goodly company at his hospitable residence. There patriotic 
toasts were gracefully proposed and as gracefully responded to. 
The festivities continued until the small hours of the morning, 
after which Consul Moerenhout was declared a duly-initiated 

Surrounded by most of his family, Don Juan Bandini, a dis- 
tinguished Southern Californian and a worthy member of one of 
the finest Spanish families here, after a long and painful illness, 
died at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Dona Arcadia 

San Pedro Street, near Second, in the Early Seventies 

Commercial Street, Looking East from Main, about 1870 

View of Plaza, Showing the Reservoir 

Old Lanfranco Block 

1859] Admission to Citizenship 255 

and Don Abel Stearns, in Los Angeles, on November 4th, 1859. 
Don Juan had come to California far back in the early twenties, 
and to Los Angeles so soon thereafter that he was a familiar 
and welcome figure here many years before I arrived. 

It is natural that I should look back with pleasure and 
satisfaction to my association with a gentleman so typically 
Calif ornian, warm-hearted, genial and social in the extreme; 
and one who dispensed so large and generous a hospitality. 
He came with his father — who eventually died here and was 
buried at the old San Gabriel Mission — and at one time pos- 
sessed the Jurupa rancho, where he lived. Don Juan was a 
lawyer by profession, and had written the best part of a 
history of early California, the manuscript of which went to 
the State University. The passing glimpse of Bandini, in 
sunlight and in shadow, recorded by Dana in his classic Two 
Years before the Mast, adds to the fame already enjoyed by 
this native Calif ornian. 

Himself of a good-sized family, Don Juan married twice. 
His first wife, courted in 1823, was Dolores, daughter of Captain 
Jose Estudillo, a comandante at Monterey; and of that union 
were born Doiia Arcadia, first the wife of Abel Stearns and later of 
Colonel R. S. Baker; Dona Ysidora, who married Lieutenant 
Cave J. Coutts, a cousin of General Grant; Dona Josefa, later 
the wife of Pedro C. Carrillo (father of J. J. Carrillo, formerly 
Marshal here and now Justice of the Peace at Santa 
Monica), and the sons, Jose Maria Bandini and Juanito Ban- 
dini. Don Juan's second wife was Refugio, a daughter of 
Santiago Arguello and a granddaughter of the governor 
who made the first grants of land to rancheros of Los An- 
geles. She it was who nursed the wounded Kearny and 
who became a friend of Lieutenant William T. Sherman, once 
a guest at her home; and she was also the mother of Doiia 
Dolores, later the wife of Charles R. Johnson, and of Doiia 
Margarita whom Dr. James B. Winston married after his 
rollicking bachelor days. By Bandini 's second marriage 
there were three sons: Juan de la Cruz Bandini, Alfredo Bandini 
and Arturo Bandini. 

256 Sixty Years in Southern California [1859 

The financial depression of 1859 afifected the temperament of 
citizens so much that Httle or no attention was paid to holi- 
days, with the one exception, perhaps, of the Bella Union's 
poorly-patronized Christmas dinner; and during i860 many 
small concerns closed their doors altogether, 

I have spoken of the fact that brick was not much used 
when I first came to Los Angeles, and have shown how it 
soon after became more popular as a building material. This 
was emphasized during 1859, when thirty-one brick buildings, 
such as they were, were put up. 

In December, Benjamin Hayes, then District Judge and 
holding court in the dingy old adobe at the corner of Spring and 
Franklin streets, ordered the Sheriff to secure and furnish 
another place ; and despite the fact that there was only a depleted 
treasury to meet the new outlay of five or six thousand dollars, 
few persons attempted to deny the necessity. The fact of the 
matter was that, when it rained, water actually poured through 
the ceiling and ran down the court-room walls, spattering over 
the Judge's desk to such an extent that umbrellas might very 
conveniently have been brought into use ; all of which led to the 
limit of human patience if not of human endurance. 

In 1859, one of the first efforts toward the formation of a 
Public Library was made when Felix Bachman, Myer J. 
Newmark, William H. Workman, Sam Foy, H. S. Allanson and 
others organized a Library Association, with John Temple as 
President; J. J. Warner, Vice-President; Francis Melius, 
Treasurer ;■ and Israel Fleishman, Secretary. The Association 
established a reading-room in Don Abel Stearns's Arcadia Block. 
An immediate and important acquisition was the collection of 
books that had been assembled by Henry Melius for his own 
home; other citizens contributed books, periodicals and money; 
and the messengers of the Overland Mail undertook to get 
such Eastern newspapers as they could for the persual of the 
library members. Five dollars was charged as an initiation 
fee, and a dollar for monthly dues ; but insignificant as was the 
expense, the undertaking was not well patronized by the public, 
and the project, to the regret of many, had to be abandoned. 

1859] Admission to Citizenship 257 

This effort to establish a hbrary recalls an Angeleno of the 
fifties, Ralph Emerson, a cousin, I believe, though somewhat 
distantly removed, of the famous Concord philosopher. He 
lived on the west side of Alameda Street, in an adobe known 
as Emerson's Row, between First and Aliso streets, where Miss 
Mary E. Hoyt, assisted by her mother, had a school; and 
where at one time Emerson, a strong competitor of mine in the 
hide business, had his office. Fire destroyed part of their 
home late in 1859, and again in the following September. 
Emerson served as a director on the Library Board, both he 
and his wife being among the most refined and attractive 
people of the neighborhood. 

It must have been late in November that Miss Hoyt 
announced the opening of her school at No. 2 Emerson Row, 
in doing which she followed a custom in vogue with private 
schools at that time and published the endorsements of 
leading citizens, or patrons. 

Again in 1861, Miss Hoyt advertised to give "instruction 
in the higher branches of English education, with French, 
drawing, and ornamental needlework, " for five dollars a month; 
while three dollars was asked for the teaching of the common 
branches and needlework, and only two dollars for teaching the 
elementary courses. Miss Hoyt's move was probably due to 
the inability of the Board of Education to secure an appropri- 
ation with which to pay the public school teachers. This 
lack of means led not only to a general discussion of the prob- 
lem, but to the recommendation that Los Angeles schools 
be graded and a high school started. 

Following a dry year, and especially a fearful heat wave in 
October which suddenly ran the mercury up to one hundred 
and ten degrees, December witnessed heavy rains in the moun- 
tains inundating both valleys and towns. On the fourth 
of December the most disastrous rain known in the history 
of the Southland set in, precipitating, within a single day 
and night, twelve inches of water; and causing the rise 
of the San Gabriel and other rivers to a height never be- 
fore recorded and such a cataclysm that sand and debris 

258 Sixty Years in Southern California IiSsq 

were scattered far and wide. Lean and weakened from 
the ravaging drought through which they had just passed, 
the poor cattle, now exposed to the elements of cold rain 
and wind, fell in vast numbers in their tracks. The bed of 
the Los Angeles River was shifted for, perhaps, a quarter of a 
mile. Many houses in town were cracked and otherwise 
damaged, and some caved in altogether. The front of the old 
Church, attacked through a leaking roof, disintegrated, swayed 
and finally gave way, filling the neighboring street with 
impassable heaps. 

I have spoken of the Market House built by John Temple 
for the City. On December 29th, there was a sale of the 
stalls by Mayor D. Marchessault ; and all except six booths 
were disposed of, each for the term of three months. One 
hundred and seventy-three dollars was the rental agreed 
upon ; and Dodson & Company bid successfully for nine out of 
thirteen of the stalls. By the following month, however, 
complaints were made in the press that, though the City Fathers 
had "condescended to let the suffering public" have another 
market, they still prevented the free competition desired; 
and by the end of August, it was openly charged that the 
manner in which the City Market was conducted showed "a 
gross piece of favoritism," and that the City Treasury on this 
account would suffer a monthly loss of one hundred dollars in 
rents alone. 

About 1859, John Murat, following in the wake of Henry 
Kuhn, proprietor of the New York Brewery, established the 
Gambrinus in the block bounded by Los Angeles, San Pedro 
and First and what has become Second streets. The brewery, 
notwithstanding its spacious yard, was anything but an 
extensive institution, and the quality of the product dispensed 
to the public left much to be desired; but it was beer, and 
Murat has the distinction of having been one of the first 
Los Angeles brewers. The New York's spigot, a suggestive 
souvenir of those convivial days picked up by George W. 
Hazard, now enriches a local museum. 

These reminiscences recall still another brewer — Christian 

1859] Admission to Citizenship 259 

Henne — at whose popular resort on Main Street, on the last 
evening of 1859, following some conferences in the old Round 
House, thirty-eight Los Angeles Germans met and formed an 
association which they called the Teutonia-Concordia. The 
object was to promote social intercourse, especially among 
Germans, and to further the study of German song. C. H. 
Classen was chosen first President; H. Hammel, Vice-President; 
H. Heinsch, Secretary; and Lorenzo Leek, Treasurer. 

How great were the problems confronting the national 
government in the development of our continent may be 
gathered from the strenuous efforts — and their results — to 
encourage an overland mail route. Six hundred thousand 
dollars a year was the subsidy granted the Butterfield Com- 
pany for running two mail coaches each way a week; yet the 
postal revenue for the first year was but twenty-seven thou- 
sand dollars, leaving a deficit of more than half a million! But 
this was not all that was discouraging: politicians attacked the 
stage route administration, and then the newspapers had to 
come to the rescue and point out the advantages as compared 
with the ocean routes. Indians, also, were an obstacle; and 
with the arrival of every stage, one expected to hear the sen- 
sational story of ambushing and murder rather than the yam 
of a monotonous trip. When new reports of such outrages were 
brought in, new outcries were raised and new petitions, calling 
on the Government for protection, were hurriedly circulated. 



IN i860, Maurice Kremer was elected County Treasurer, 
succeeding H. N. Alexander who had entered the service 
of Wells Fargo & Company ; and he attended to this new 
function at his store on Commercial Street, where he kept the 
County funds. I had my office in the same place ; and the 
salary of the Treasurer at the time being but one hundred and 
twenty-five dollars a month, with no allowance for an assistant, 
I agreed to act as Deputy Treasurer without pay. As a 
matter of fact, I was a sort of Emergency Deputy only, and 
accepted the responsibility as an accommodation to Kremer, 
in order that when he was out of town there might be some- 
one to take charge of his affairs. It is very evident, however, 
that I did not appreciate the danger connected with this little 
courtesy, since it often happened that there were from forty 
to fifty thousand dollars in the money-chest. An expert 
burglar could have opened the safe without special effort, and 
might have gone scot-free, for the only protector at night was 
my nephew, Kaspare Cohn, a mere youth, who clerked for me 
and slept on the premises. 

Inasmuch as no bank had as yet been established in Los 
Angeles, Kremer carried the money to Sacramento twice a year; 
nor was this transportation of the funds, first by steamer to 
San Francisco, thence by boat inland, without danger. The 
State was full of desperate characters who would cut a throat 
or scuttle a ship for a great deal less than the amount involved. 


i860] First Experience with the Telegraph 261 

At the end of five or six years, Kremer was succeeded as County 
Treasurer by J. Huber, Jr. I may add, incidentally, that the 
funds in question could have been transported north by Wells 
Fargo & Company, but their charges were exorbitant. At a 
later period, when they were better equipped and rates had 
been reduced, they carried the State money. 

On January 2d, Joseph Paulding, a Marylander, died. 
Twenty-seven years before, he came by way of the Gila, and 
boasted having made the first two mahogany billiard tables 
constructed in California. 

The same month, attention was directed to a new industry, 
the polishing and mounting of abalone shells, then as now found 
on the coast of Southern California. A year or so later, G. 
Fischer was displaying a shell brooch, colored much like an 
opal and mounted in gold. By 1866, the demand for abalone 
shells had so increased that over fourteen thousand dollars' 
worth was exported from San Francisco, while a year later 
consignments valued at not less than thirty-six thousand dol- 
lars were sent out through the Golden Gate. Even though 
the taste of to-day considers this shell as hardly deserving 
of such a costly setting, it is nevertheless true that these early 
ornaments, much handsomer than many specimens of quartz 
jewelry, soon became quite a fad in Los Angeles. Natives and 
Indians, especially, took a fancy to the abalone shell, and 
even much later earrings of that material were worn by the 
Crow scout Curley, a survivor of the Custer Massacre. In 
1874, R- W. Jackson, a shell- jeweler on Montgomery Street, 
San Francisco, was advertising here for the rarities, offering as 
much as forty and fifty dollars for a single sound red, black or 
silver shell, and from fifty to one hundred dollars for a good 
green or blue one. Incidentally, it is interesting to note that 
the Chinese consumed the abalone meat in large quantities. 

Broom-making was a promising industry in the early six- 
ties, the Carpenters of Los Nietos and F. W. Gibson of El 
Monte being among the pioneers in this handiwork. Several 
thousand brooms were made in that year; and since they 
brought three dollars a dozen, and cost but eleven cents each 

262 Sixty Years in Southern California [i860 

for the handles and labor, exclusive of the com, a good profit 
was realized. 

Major Edward Harold Fitzgerald, well known for campaigns 
against both Indians and bandits, died on Januars* 9th and 
was buried with military' honors. 

On Januan.- loth. Bartholomew's Rock}" Alountain Circus 
held forth on the Plaza, people coming in from miles around to 
see the show. It was then that the circus proprietor sought 
to quiet the nerves of the anxious by the large-lettered an- 
nouncement, "A strict Police is engaged for the occasion!" 

The printing of news, editorials and advertisements in both 
English and Spanish recalls again not only some amusing 
incidents in court acti\*ities resulting from the inability of 
jurists and others to understand the two languages, but also the 
fact that in the early sixties sermons were preached in the 
Catholic Chiu-ch at Los Angeles in English and Spanish, the for- 
mer being spoken at one mass, the latter at another. English 
proper names such as John and Benjamin were Spanished 
into Juan and Benito, and common Spanish terms persisted in 
English advertisements, as when Don Juan Avila and Fer- 
nando Sepulveda, in January, announced that they would run 
the horse Coyote one thousand varas, for three thousand dollars. 
In 1862, also, when Syriaco Arza was executed for the murder 
of Frank Riley, the peddler, and the prisoner had made a speech 
to the crowd, the Sheriff read the warrant for the execution in 
both English and Spanish. StiU another illustration of the use 
of Spanish here, side by side \\'ith English, is found in the fact 
that in 1858 the Los Angeles assessment rolls were written in 
Spanish, although by i860 the entries were made in English 

A letter to the editor of the Star, published on January" 28th, 
i860, will confirm my comments on the primitive school condi- 
tions in Los Angeles in the first decade or two after I came. The 
writer complained of the filthy condition of the Boys' Depart- 
ment, School No. I, in which, to judge by the mud, " the floor 
did not seem to have been swept for months ! " The editor then 
took up the cudgel, saying that the Board formerly paid a man 

i860] First Experience with the Telegraph 263 

for keeping the schoolroom clean, but that the Common Council 
had refused any longer to pass the janitor's bills ; adding that, 
in his opinion, the Council had acted wisely! If the teacher 
had really wished the schoolroom floor to be clean, contended 
the economical editor, he should have appointed a pupil to swing 
a broom each day or, at least, each week, and otherwise perform 
the necessary duties on behalf of the health of the school. 

The year i860 witnessed the death of Don Antonio Maria 
Lugo — brother of Don Jose Ygnacio Lugo, grandfather of the 
Wolfskills — uncle of General Vallejo and the father-in-law of 
Colonel Isaac Williams, who preceded Lugo to the grave by four 
years. For a long time, Lugo lived in a spacious adobe built 
in 18 19 near the present corner of East Second and San Pedro 
streets, and there the sons, for whom he obtained the San 
Bernardino rancho, were born. In earlier days, or from 1813, 
Don Antonio lived on the San Antonio Ranch near what is 
now Compton; and so well did he prosper there that eleven 
leagues were not enough for the support of his cattle and flocks. 
It was a daughter of Lugo who, having married a Perez and 
being made a widow, became the wife of Stephen C. Foster, her 
daughter in turn marrying Wallace Woodworth and becoming 
Maria Antonia Perez de Woodworth; and Lugo, who used to 
visit them and the business establishments of the town, was 
a familiar figure as a sturdy caballero in the streets of Los 
Angeles, his ornamental sword strapped in Spanish-soldier 
fashion to his equally-ornamental saddle. Don Antonio died 
about the first of February, aged eighty-seven years. 

About the middle of February, John Temple fitted up the 
large hall over the City Market as a theater, providing for it a 
stage some forty-five by twenty feet in size — in those days 
considered an abundance of platform space — and a "private 
box" on each side, whose possession became at once the ambi- 
tion of every Los Angeles gallant. Temple brought an artist 
from San Francisco to paint the scenery, Los Angeles then 
boasting of no one clever enough for the work; and the same 
genius surpervised the general decoration of the house. What 
was considered a record-breaking effort at making the public 

264 Sixty Years in Southern California ti86o 

comfortable was undertaken in furnishing the parquet with 
armchairs and in filHng the gallery with two tiers of raised 
benches, guaranteeing some chance of looking over any broad 
sombreros in front; and to cap the enterprise, Temple brought 
down a company of players especially to dedicate his new house. 
About February 20th, the actors arrived on the old Senator; and 
while I do not recall who they were or what they produced, I 
believe that they first held forth on Washington's Birthday 
when it was said: "The scenery is magnificent, surpassing 
anything before exhibited in this city." 

The spring of i860 was notable for the introduction of the 
Pony Express as a potent factor in the despatch of trans- 
continental mail ; and although this new service never included 
Los Angeles as one of its terminals, it greatly shortened the 
time required and, naturally if indirectly, benefited the 
Southland. Speed was, indeed, an ambition of the new man- 
agement, and some rather extraordinary results were attained. 
About April 20th, soon after the Pony Express was started, mes- 
sages were rushed through from St. Louis to San Francisco in 
eight and a half days; and it was noised about that the Butter- 
fields planned a rival pony express, over a route three hundred 
miles shorter, that would reach the Coast in seven days. About 
the end of April, mail from London and Liverpool reached Los 
Angeles in twenty or twenty-one days; and I believe that the 
fastest time that the Pony Express ever made was in March, 
1 861, when President Lincoln's message was brought here in 
seven days and seventeen hours. This was somewhat quicker 
than the passage of the report about Fort Sumter, a month 
afterward, which required twelve days, and considerably faster 
than the transmission, by the earlier methods of 1850, of the 
intelligence that California had been admitted to the Union — a 
bit of news of the greatest possible importance yet not at all 
known here, I have been told, until six weeks after Congress 
enacted the law! Which reminds me that the death of Eliza- 
beth Barrett Browning, the poet, although occurring in Italy 
on June 29th, 1861, was first announced in Los Angeles on the 
seventeenth of the following August! 

i860] First Experience with the Telegraph 265 

In February or March, the sewer crossing Los Angeles 
Street and connecting the Bella Union with the zanja (which 
passed through the premises of Francis Melius) burst, probably 
as the result of the recent rains, discharging its contents into 
the common yard; and in short order Melius found himself 
minus two very desirable tenants. For a while, he thought of 
suing the City ; and then he decided to stop the sewer effectu- 
ally. As soon as it was plugged up, however, the Bella 
Union found itself cut off from its accustomed outlet, and there 
was soon a great uproar in that busy hostelry. The upshot of 
the matter was that the Bella Union proprietors commenced 
suit against Melius. This was the first sewer — really a small, 
square wooden pipe — whose construction inaugurated an early 
chapter in the annals of sewer-building and control in Los 

Competition for Government trade was keen in the sixties, 
and energetic efforts were made by merchants to secure their 
share of the crumbs, as well as the loaves, that might fall from 
Uncle Sam's table. For that reason, Captain Winfield Scott 
Hancock easily added to his popularity as Quartermaster, early 
in i860, by preparing a map in order to show the War Depart- 
ment the relative positions of the various military posts in this 
district, and to emphasize the proximity of Los Angeles. 

One day in the Spring a stranger called upon me with the 
interesting information that he was an inventor, which led me 
to observe that someone ought to devise a contrivance with 
which to pluck oranges — an operation then performed by 
climbing into the trees and pulling the fruit from the branches. 
Shortly after the interview, many of us went to the grove of 
Jean Louis Sainsevain to see a simple, but ingenious appliance 
for picking the golden fruit. A pair of pincers on a light pole 
were operated from below by a wire ; and when the wire was 
pulled, the fruit, quite unharmed by scratch or pressure, fell 
safely into a little basket fastened close to the pincers. In the 
same year, Pierre Sainsevain established the first California 
wine house in New York and bought the Cucamonga vine- 
yard, where he introduced new and better varieties of grapes. 

266 Sixty Years in Southern California [i860 

But bad luck overtook him. In 1870, grasshoppers ate the 
leaves and destroyed the crop. 

Small as was the population of Los Angeles County at about 
this time, there was nevertheless for a while an exodus to 
Texas, due chiefly to the difficulty experienced by white 
immigrants in competing with Indian ranch and vineyard 

Toward the middle of March, much interest was manifested 
in the welfare of a native Californian named Serbo — sometimes 
erroneously given as Serbulo and even Cervelo — Varela who, 
under the influence of bad whiskey, had assaulted and nearly 
killed a companion, and who seemed certain of a long term in 
the State prison. It was recalled, however, that when in the 
fall of 1846, the fiendish Flores, resisting the invasion of the 
United States forces, had captured a number of Americans 
and condemned them to be dragged out and shot, Varela, then 
a soldier under Flores, and a very brave fellow, broke from the 
ranks, denounced the act as murder, declared that the order 
should never be carried out except over his dead body, and said 
and did such a number of things more or less melodramatic that 
he finally saved the lives of the American prisoners. Great 
sympathy was expressed, therefore, when it was discovered 
that this half -forgotten hero was in the toils ; and few persons, 
if any, were sorry when Varela was induced to plead guilty to 
assault and battery, enabling the court to deal leniently with 
him. Varela became more and more addicted to strong drink ; 
and some years later he was the victim of foul play, his body 
being found in an unfrequented part of the town. 

A scrap-book souvenir of the sixties gives us an idyllic view 
of contemporaneous pueblo life, furnishing, at the same time, 
an idea of the newspaper English of that day. It reads as 
follows : 

With the exception of a little legitimate shooting affair last 
Saturday night, by which some fellow had well-nigh the top 
of his head knocked off, and one or two knock-downs and drag- 
outs, we have had a very peaceful week indeed. Nothing has 
occurred to disturb the even tenor of our way, and our good 

i860] First Experience with the Telegraph 267 

people seem to be given up to the quiet enjoyment of delicious 
fruits and our unequalled climate, — each one literally under his 
own vine and fig tree, revelling in fancy's flights, or Itixuriating 
among the good things which he finds temptingly at hand. 

The demand for better lighting facilities led the Common 
Council to make a contract, toward the end of March, with 
Tiffany & Wethered, who were given a franchise to lay pipes 
through the streets and to establish gas-works here; but the 
attempt proved abortive. 

In this same year, the trip east by the Overland Stage 
Route, which had formerly required nearly a month, was 
accomplished in eighteen or nineteen days ; and toward the end 
of March, the Overland Company replaced the "mud-wagons" 
they had been using between Los Angeles and San Francisco 
with brightly-painted and better-upholstered Concord coaches. 
Then the Los Angeles office was on Spring Street, between First 
and second — on the lot later bought by Louis Rceder for a 
wagon-shop, and now the site of the Roeder Block ; and there, 
for the price of two hundred dollars, tickets could be obtained 
for the entire journey to St. Louis. 

Foreign coin circulated in Los Angeles, as I have said, for 
many years, and even up to the early sixties Mexican money 
was accepted at par with our own. Improved facilities for 
intercourse with the outside world, however, affected the mar- 
kets here, and in the spring of that year several merchants 
refused to receive the specie of our southern neighbor at more 
than its actual value as silver. As a result, these dealers, though 
perhaps but following the trend elsewhere, were charged openly 
with a combination to obtain an illegitimate profit. 

In i860, while Dr. T. J. White was Postmaster, a regulation 
was made ordering all mail not called for to be sent to the 
Dead Letter Office in Washington, within a week after such 
mail had been advertised; but it was not until the fall of 1871 
that this order was really put into operation in our neighbor- 
hood. For some time this worked great hardship on many 
people living in the suburbs who found it impossible to call 

268 Sixty Years in Southern California I1860 

promptly for their mail, and who learned too late that letters in- 
tended for them had been returned to the sender or destroyed. 

Political enthusiasm was keen in early days, as is usual in 
small towns, and victorious candidates, at least, knew how to 
celebrate. On Monday, May 7th, i860, Henry Melius was 
elected Mayor; and next day, he and the other City officers 
paraded our streets in a four-horse stagecoach with a brass 
band. The Mayor-elect and his confreres were stuffed inside 
the hot, decorated vehicle, while the puffing musicians bounced 
up and down on the swaying top outside, like pop-corn in a 

More than a ripple of excitement was produced in Los 
Angeles about the middle of May, when Jack Martin, Billy 
Holcomb and Jim Ware, in from Bear Valley, ordered provi- 
sions and paid for the same in shining gold dust. It was pre- 
viously known that they had gone out to hunt for bear, and 
their sudden return with this precious metal, together with 
their desire to pick up a few appliances such as are not ordi- 
narily used in trapping, made some of the hangers-on about the 
store suspicious. The hunters were secretly followed, and were 
found to return to what is now Holcomb Valley; and then it 
was learned that gold had been discovered there about the first 
of the month. For a year or two, many mining camps were 
formed in Holcomb and Upper Holcomb valleys, and in that 
district the town of Belleville was founded ; but the gold, at first 
apparently so plentiful, soon gave out, and the excitement 
incidental to the discovery subsided. 

While some men were thus digging for treasure, others 
sought fortune in the deep. Spearing sharks, as well as whales, 
was an exciting industry at this period ; sharks running in large 
numbers along the coast, and in the waters of San Pedro Bay. 
In May, Orin Smith of Los Angeles, with the aid of his son, 
in one day caught one hundred and three sharks, from which 
he took only the livers; these, when boiled, yielding oil which, 
burned fairly well, even in its crude state. During the next 
year, shark-hunting near Rattlesnake Island continued mod- 
erately remunerative. 

i860] First Experience with the Telegraph 269 

Sometime in the spring, another effort was made to establish 
a tannery here and hopes were entertained that an important 
trade might thus be founded. But the experiment came to 
naught, and even to-day Los Angeles can boast of no tannery 
such as exists in several other California cities. 

With the approach of summer, Elijah and William H, 
Workman built a brick dwelling on Main Street, next to Tom 
Rowan's bakery, and set around it trees of several varieties. 
The residence, then one of the prettiest in town, was built for 
the boys' mother; and there, with her, they dwelt. 

That sectarian activity regarding public schools is nothing 
new in Los Angeles may be shown from an incident, not without 
its humorous side, of the year i860. T. J. Harvey appeared 
with a broadside in the press, protesting against the reading of 
the Bible in schoolrooms, and saying that he, for one, would 
"never stand it, come what may." Some may still remember 
his invective and his pyrotechnical conclusion: ''Revolution! 
War!/ Blood! ir' 

During Downey's incumbency as Governor, the Legislature 
passed a law, popularly known as the Bulkhead Bill, authorizmg 
the San Francisco Dock and Wharf Company to build a stone 
bulkhead around the water-front of the Northern city, in return 
for which the company was to have the exclusive privilege of 
collecting tolls and wharfage for the long period of fifty years, 
a franchise the stupendous value of which even the projectors 
of that date could scarcely have anticipated. Downey, when 
the measure came before him for final action, vetoed the bill 
and thus performed a judicious act — perhaps the most 
meritorious of his administration. 

Whether Downey, who on January 9th had become Govern- 
or, was really popular for any length of time, even in the vicinity 
of his home, may be a question; but his high office and the 
fact that he was the first Governor from the Southland as- 
sured him a hearty welcome whenever he came down here from 
the capital. In June Downey returned to Los Angeles, accom- 
panied by his wife, and took rooms at the Bella Union hotel, and 
besides the usual committee visits, receptions and speeches from 

270 Sixty Years in Southern California [i860 

the balcony, arranged in honor of the distinguished guests, 
there was a salute of thirteen guns, fired with all ceremony, 
which echoed and re-echoed from the hillsides. 

In i860, a number of delegates, including Casper Behrendt 
and myself, were sent to San Francisco to attend the laying of 
the corner-stone, on the twenty-fifth of June, of the Masonic 
Temple at the corner of Post and Montgomery streets. We 
made the trip when the weather was not only excessively hot, 
but the sand was a foot deep and headway very slow; so 
that, although we were young men and enjoyed the excursion, 
we could not laugh down all of the disagreeable features of the 
journey. It was no wonder, therefore, that when we arrived at 
Visalia, where we were to change horses, Behrendt wanted a 
shave. While he was in the midst of this tonsorial refreshment, 
the stage started on its way to San Francisco ; and as Behrendt 
heard it passing the shop, he ran out — with one side of his face 
smooth and clean, while the other side was whiskered and 
grimy — and tried to stop the disappearing vehicle. Despite all 
of his yelling and running, however, the stage did not stop; 
and finally, Behrendt fired his pistol several times into the air. 
This attracted the attention of the sleepy driver, who took the 
puffing passenger on board; whereupon the rest of us chaiffed 
him about his singular appearance. Behrendt' did not have 
much peace of mind until we reached the Plaza Hotel at San 
Juan Bautista ("a relic," as someone has said," of the distant 
past, where men and women played billiards on horseback, 
and trees bore human fruit"), situated in a sweet little val- 
ley, mountain-girdled and well watered ; where he was able to 
complete his shave and thus restore his countenance to its 
normal condition. 

In connection with this anecdote of the trip to San Fran- 
cisco, I may add another story. On board the stage was 
Frederick J. McCrellish, editor of the Alta Calif oniia — the 
principal Coast paper, bought by McCrellish & Company in 
1858 — and also Secretary of the telegraph company at that 
time building its line between San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

'Died November 19th, 1913. 

i860] First Experience with the Telegraph 271 

When we reached a point between Gilroy and Visalia, which was 
the temporary terminus of the telegraph from San Francisco, 
McCreUish spoke with some enthusiasm of the Morse invention 
and invited everybody on the stage to send telegrams, at his 
expense, to his friends. I wrote out a message to my brother in 
San Francisco, telling him about the trip as far as I had com- 
pleted it, and passed the copy to the operator at the clicking 
instrument. It may be hard for the reader to conceive that 
this would be an exciting episode in a man's life; but since my 
first arrival in the Southland there had been no telegraphic 
communication between Los Angeles and the outside world, 
and the remembrance of this experience at the little wayside 
station was never to be blotted from my mind. I may also 
add that of that committee sent to the Masonic festivities in 
San Francisco, Behrendt and I are now the only surviving 

It has been stated that the population of Los Angeles in 
1850 was but sixteen hundred and ten. How true that is I 
cannot tell. When I came to the city in 1853, there were some 
twenty-six hundred people. In the summer of i860 a fairly 
accurate census was made, and it was found that our little 
town had four thousand three hundred and ninety-nine 

Two distinguished military men visited Los Angeles in the 
midsummer of i860. The first was General James Shields 
who, in search of health, arrived by the Overland Route on the 
twenty-fourth of July, having just finished his term in the 
Senate. The effect of wounds received at the battle of Cerro 
Gordo, years before, and reports as to the climate of California 
started the General westward ; and quietly he alighted from the 
stage at the door of the Bella Union, After a while, General 
Shields undertook the superintending of a Mexican mine ; but at 
the outbreak of the Civil War, although not entirely recovered, 
he hastened back to Washington and was at once appointed a 
Brigadier-General of volunteers. The rest of his career is 

A week later, General, or as he was then entitled, Colonel 

272 Sixty Years in Southern California [i860 

John C. Fremont drew up at the Plaza. His coming to this 
locaHty in connection with the Temescal tin mine and Mariposa 
forestry interests had been heralded from Godey's ranch some 
days before; and when he arrived on Tuesday, July 31st, in 
company with Leonidas Haskell and Joseph C. Palmer, the 
Republicans were out in full force and fired a salute of twenty- 
five guns. In the evening, Colonel Fremont was waited upon 
in the parlors of the Bella Union by a goodly company, under 
the leadership of the Republican Committee, although all 
classes, irrespective of politics, united to pay the celebrated 
California pioneer the honors due him. 

Alexander Godey, to whose rancho I have just referred, was a 
man of importance, with a very extensive cattle-range in Kern 
County not far from Bakersfield, where he later lived. He 
occasionally came to town, and was an invariable visitor at 
my store, purchasing many supplies from me. These and 
other provisions, which Godey and his neighbors sent for, were 
transported by burro- or mule-train to the ranches in care 
of Miguel Ortiz, who had his headquarters in Los Angeles. 
Loading these so-called pack-trains was an art : by means of 
ropes and slats of wood, merchandise was strapped to the 
animal's sides and back in such a fashion that it could not slip, 
and thus a heavy, well-balanced load was conveyed over the 
plain and the mountain trails. 

By i860, the Germans were well-organized and active here 
in many ways, a German Benevolent Society, called the Ein- 
tracht, which met Tuesday and Friday evenings in the Arcadia 
Block for music drill under Director Heinsch, affording stimu- 
lating entertainment and accomplishing much good. The 
Turnverein, on the other hand, took an interest in the success of 
the Round House, and on March 12th put up a liberty pole on 
top of the oddly-shaped building. Lager beer and other things 
deemed by the Teutonic brethren essential to a Garden of 
Paradise and to such an occasion were freely dispensed; and 
on that day Lehman was in all his glory. 

A particular feature of this Garden of Paradise was a cab- 
bage, about which have grown up some traditions of the Brob- 

i860] First Experience with the Telegraph 273 

dingnagian sort that the reader may accept in toto or with 
a grain of salt. It was planted when the place was opened, 
and is said to have attained, by December, 1859, a height 
of twelve feet, "with a circumference" (so averred an ambigu- 
ous chronicler of the period, referring doubtless to crinolines) 
"equal to that of any fashionably-attired city belle measuring 
eight or ten feet," By July, i860, the cabbage attained a 
growth, so the story goes, of fourteen feet four inches although, 
George always claimed, it had been cropped twenty or more 
times and its leaves used for Kohlslau, Sauerkraut and good- 
ness knows what. I can afford the modern reader no better 
idea of Lehman's personality and resort than by quoting the 
following contemporaneous, if not very scholarly, account: 

The Garden of Paradise. Our friend George of the 
Round House, who there keeps a garden with the above capti- 
vating name, was one of the few who done honor to the Fourth. 
He kept the National Ensign at the fore, showed his fifteen- 
foot cabbage, and dealt Lager to admiring crowds all day. 

Among the popular pleasure-resorts of i860 was the 
Tivoli Garden on the Wolfskill Road, conducted by Charles 
Kaiser, who called his friends together by placarding the legend, 
"Hurrah for the Tivoli!" Music and other amusements were 
provided every Sunday, from two o'clock, and dancing could be 
enjoyed until late in the night; and as there was no charge for 
admission, the place was well patronized. 

When the Fourth of July, 1859, approached and no prepa- 
ration had been made to observe the holiday, some children 
who were being instructed in calisthenics by A. F. Tilden began 
to solicit money, their childish enthusiasm resulting in the 
appointing of a committee, the collecting of four hundred dol- 
lars, and a picnic in Don Luis Sainsevain's enclosed garden. 
A year later, Tilden announced that he would open a place 
for gymnastic exercises in "Temple's New Block;" charging 
men three dollars for the use of the apparatus and the privilege 
of a shower-bath, and training boys at half rates. This was 
the origin of systematic physical culture in Los Angeles. 
18 / 



EARLY in i860, Phineas Banning and J. J. Tomlinson, 
the energetic rivals in lighterage and freighting at 
San Pedro, embarked as lumber merchants, thereby 
anticipating the enormous trade that has flowed for years past 
from the North through Los Angeles to Southern California 
and Arizona. Having many teams, they hauled lumber, when 
traffic was not sufficient to keep their wagon-trains busy, 
from the harbor to the city or even, when there was need, to 
the ranchos. It must have been in the same year that F. P. F. 
Temple, at a cost of about forty thousand dollars for lumber 
alone, fenced in a wide acreage, at the same time building large 
and substantial barns for his stock. By the summer of that 
year. Banning was advertising lumber, delivered in Los Angeles; 
and from October ist. Banning & Hinchman had an office near 
the northern junction of Main and Spring streets. A couple 
of years before, Banning in person had directed the driving of 
seventeen mule teams, from San Pedro to Fort Yuma, covering, 
in twelve or thirteen days, the two hundred and thirty miles of 
barely passable road. The following March, Banning and Tom- 
linson, who had so often opposed each other even in the courts, 
came to an understanding and buried the hatchet for good. 

At this time, Joseph Everhardt, who, with Frederick W. 
KoU, had conducted the Lafayette Hotel, sold out and moved to 
San Francisco, marrying Miss R. Mayer, now John Lang's 
widow, sister-in-law of Kiln Messer. Later, Everhardt went 
to Sonoma and then to Victoria, B. C, in each place making 
his mark ; and in the latter city he died. 


[i860] Steam-Wagon — Odd Characters 275 

Like both Messer and Lang, Everhardt had passed through 
varied and trying experiences. The owner of theRuss Garden res- 
taurant in 1849, in Hvely San Francisco, he came to Los Angeles 
and took hold of the hotel Lafayette. With him was a partner 
named Fucht ; but a free fight and display of shooting irons, such 
as often enlivened a California hotel, having sent the guests and 
hangers-on scurrying to quarters, induced Fucht to sell out his 
interests in very short order, whereupon Everhardt took in with 
him Frederick W. Koll, who lived on a site now the southeast 
corner of Seventh and Spring streets where he had an orange- 

Pursuing Indians was dangerous in the extreme, as Robert 
Wilburn found when he went after some twenty head of cattle 
stolen from Felix Bachman by Pi-Ute or Paiute Indians in 
January, i860, during one of their marauding expeditions into 
California. Wilburn chased the red men but he never came 
back; and when his body was found, it was pierced with three 
or four arrows, probably shot at him simultaneously by as 
many of the cattle-thieves. 

Don Tomas A. Sanchez, Sheriff from i860 to 1867, had a 
record for physical courage and prowess, having previously been 
an officer under Pico in the Mexican War days, and having 
later aided Pico in his efforts to punish Barton's murderers. 
Sanchez had property; and in 1887 a patent was granted his 
estate for four thousand or more acres in the ranch known as 
Cienega 6 Paso de la Tijera. 

Destructive fires in the open country, if not as common as 
now, still occasionally stirred our citizens. Such a fire broke out 
in the San Fernando Valley in the middle of July, and spread 
so rapidly that a square mile and a half of territory was denuded 
and charred. Not only were there no organized means to 
fight such fires, but men were compelled to sound the alarm 
through couriers on horseback; and if the wind happened to 
be blowing across the plains, even the fleetest horseman had all 
he could do to avoid the flames and reach in time the widely- 
separated rancheros. Here I may add that as late as the sixties 
all of the uninhabited parts of Los Angeles, especially to the 

276 Sixty Years in Southern California [i860 

west of Main Street, were known as plains, and "crossing the 
plains" was an expression commonly used with a peculiarly- 
local significance. 

So wretched were the roads in the early decades after my 
arrival, and so many were the plans proposed for increasing 
the rapidity of travel, that great curiosity was excited in i860 
when it was announced that Phineas Banning had bought a 
" steam-wagon " and would soon introduce a kind of vehicle such 
as Los Angeles, at least, had never before seen. This steam- 
wagon was a traction engine built by J, Whitman & Sons, at 
Leeds, England, and was already on its way across the ocean. 
It had been ordered by Richard A. Ogden, of San Francisco, 
for the Patagonia Copper Mining Company, a trial before 
shipping having proved that, with a load of thirty-eight tons, 
the engine could attain a speed of five miles an hour; and 
Banning paid handsomely for the option of purchasing the 
vehicle, on condition that it would ultimately prove a success. 

The announcement was made in April, and by early June 
the engine had reached San Francisco where it made the run 
to Mission Dolores in three-quarters of an hour. All the San 
Francisco papers told of "the truly wonderful machine," one 
reporter averring that " the engineer had so perfect control that 
a visit was made to various parts of the city, to the astonish- 
ment and gratification of the multitude;" and since these 
accounts were immediately copied by the Los Angeles papers 
(which added the official announcement that Captain Hughes 
had loaded the engine on board his schooner, the Lewis Perry, 
and was bringing it south as fast as he could) , popular excite- 
ment rose like the mercury in summer, and but one more 
report was needed to make it the absorbing talk of the hour. 
That came on the twenty-eighth of July, when the Star an- 
nounced: "The steam- wagon has arrived at San Pedro;" and 
it was not long before many persons went down to the port 
to get a sight of the wonderful object. 

And wait they did. Although the Star said that "all our 
citizens were anxiously, hourly, expecting to see Major Banning 
heave in sight at the foot of Main Street," no Banning hove! 

i860] Steam-Wagon — Odd Characters 277 

Instead, on the fourth of August, the same Star broke forth 
with this lament: "The steam-wagon is at San Pedro, and we 
regret to learn that it is likely to remain there. So far, all 
attempts to reach this city with freight have failed. " And that 
was the end of the steam-wagon experiment here. 

In every community there are characters who, for one 
reason or another, develop among their fellows a reputation for 
oddity. We have all seen the good-natured, rather stout old 
gentleman, whose claim to dignity is his old-fashioned Prince 
Albert and rather battered-looking silk hat, but who, although 
he boasts many friends, is never successfiil in the acquisition 
of this world's goods. We have seen, too, the vender of ice- 
cream, tamales or similar commodity, who in his youth had 
been an opera singer or actor, but whose too intensive thirst 
rendered him impossible in his profession and brought him far 
down in the world. Some were dangerous criminals; some 
were harmless, but obnoxious; others still were harmless and 
amusing. Many such characters I have met during my sixty 
years in Los Angeles; and each filled a certain niche, even those 
whose only mission was to furnish their fellows with humor 
or amusement having thus contributed to the charm of life. 

Viejo Cholo, or Old Half-breed, a Mexican over sixty years 
of age who was never known by any other name, was such an 
eccentric character. He was half blind; wore a pair of white 
linen pantaloons, and for a mantle used an old sheet. This he 
threw over his shoulders ; and thus accoutered, he strutted about 
the streets like a Spanish cavalier. His cane was a broom- 
handle; his lunch-counter, the swill-bucket; and when times 
were particularly bad, Viejo begged. The youngsters of the 
pueblo were the bane of Cholo's existence and the torment of his 
infirmity and old age. 

Cholo was succeeded by Pinikahti, who was half Indian and 
half Mexican. He was not over four feet in height and had a 
flat nose, a stubby beard and a face badly pockmarked ; and he 
presented, altogether, as unkempt and obnoxious an appearance 
as one might imagine. Pinikahti was generally attired in a 
well-worn straw hat, the top of which was missing, and his long, 

2^% Sixty Years in Southern California [i860 

straight hair stuck out in clumps and snarls. A woolen under- 
shirt and a pair of overalls completed his costume, while his 
toes, as a rule, protruded from his enormous boots. Unlike 
Viejo Cholo, Pinikahti was permitted to go unmolested by the 
juvenile portion of the population, inasmuch as, though half- 
witted, he was somewhat of an entertainer; for it was natural for 
him to play the flute and — what was really interesting — he made 
his own instruments out of the reed that grew along the river 
banks. Pinikahti cut just the holes, I suppose, that produced 
what seemed to him proper harmony, and on these home-made 
flutes performed such airs as his wandering fancy suggested. 
He always played weird tunes and danced strange Indian dances ; 
and through these crude gifts he became, as I have said, suf- 
ficiently popular to enjoy some immunity. Nevertheless, he 
was a professional beggar; and whatever he did to afford 
amusement, was done, after all, for money. This was easily 
explained, for money alone would buy aguardiente, and Pinikahti 
had little use for anything else. Aguardiente, as the word was 
commonly used in Southern California, was a native brandy, 
full of hell fire; and so the poor half-breed was always drunk. 
One day Pinikahti drank a glass too much, and this brought 
about such a severance of his ties with beautiful Los Angeles 
that his absorption of one spirit released, at last, the other. 

Sometime in the eventful sixties, a tall, angular, muscular- 
looking woman was here, who went by the singular sobriquet of 
Captain Jinks, a title which she received from a song then very 
popular, the first couplet of which ran something like this : 

I'm Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines, 
I feed my horse on pork and beans ! 

She half strode, half jerked her way along the street, as though 
scanning the lines of that ditty with her feet. She was strong 
for woman's rights, she said; and she certainly looked it. 

Chinamen were not only more numerous by i860, but 
they had begun to vary their occupations, many working as 
servants, laundrymen or farm hands. In March, a Chinese 
company was also organized to compete for local fish trade. 

i860] Steam-Wagon — Odd Characters 279 

In i860, Emile Bordenave & Company opened the Lotdsiana 
Coffee Saloon as a French restaurant. Roast duck and oysters 
were their specialty, and they charged fifty cents a meal. But 
they also served "a plate at one bit."' Some years later, there 
was a two-bit restaurant known as Brown's on Main Street, 
near the United States Hotel, where a good, substantial meal 
was served. 

James, often called Santiago Johnson, who, for a short time 
prior to his death about i860 or 1861, was a forwarder of 
freight at San Pedro, came to Los Angeles in 1833 with a 
cargo of Mexican and Chinese goods, and after that owned 
considerable ranch property. In addition to ranching, he also 
engaged extensively in cattle-raising. 

Peter, popularly known as Pete or Bully Wilson, a native of 
Sweden, came to Los Angeles about i860. He ran a one horse 
dray; and as soon as he had accumulated sufficient money, he 
bought, for twelve hundred dollars, the southeast corner of 
Spring and First streets, where he had his stable. He continued 
to prosper ; and his family still enjoy the fruits of his industry. 

The same year, George Smith started to haul freight and 
baggage. He had four horses hitched to a sombre-looking 
vehicle nicknamed the Black Swan. 

J. D. Yates was a grocer and provision-dealer of i860, 
with a store on the Plaza. 

I have referred to Bishop Amat as presiding over the Dio- 
cese of Monterey and Los Angeles ; but Los Angeles was linked 
with Monterey, for a while, even in judicial matters. Beginning 
with i860 or 1 86 1 (when Fletcher M. Haight, father of Governor 
H. H. Haight, was the first Judge to preside), the United States 
Coiirt for the Southern District of California was held alternately 
in the two towns mentioned. Colonel J. O. Wheeler serving as 
Clerk and the Court for the Southern term occupying seven 
rooms of the second story of John Temple's Block. These al- 
ternate sessions continued to be held until about 1866 when 
the tribunal for the Southern District ceased to exist and An- 
gelenos were compelled to apply to the court in San Francisco. 
' Twelve and one-half cents. 

28o Sixty Years in Southern California I 


For years, such was the neglect of the Protestant burial 
ground that in i860 caustic criticism was made by each news- 
paper discussing the condition of the cemetery: there was no 
fence, headstones were disfigiu-ed or demohshed, and there was 
Uttle or no protection to the graves. As a matter of fact, when 
the cemetery on Fort Hill was abandoned, but few of the bodies 
were removed. 

By i860, the New England Fire Insurance Company, of 
Hartford, Connecticut, was advertising here through its local 
agent, H. Hamilton — our friend of the Los Angeles Star. 
Hamilton used to survey the applicants' premises, forward the 
data to William Faulkner, the San Francisco representative, 
who executed the policy and mailed the document back 
to Los Angeles. After a while, Samuel Briggs, with Wells 
Fargo &: Co., represented the Phoenix Insurance Company. 

H. Newmark & Company also sold insurance somewhat 
later, representing the Commercial Union Insurance Company, 
About 1880, however, they disposed of their insurance interests 
to Alaurice Kremer, whose main competitor was W. J. Brodrick; 
and from this transaction developed the firm of Kremer, Camp- 
bell & Company, still in that business. Not only in this con- 
nection but elsewhere in these memoirs it may be noted how 
little specialization there was in earlier days in Los Angeles; in 
fact it was not until about 1880 that this process, distinctive 
of economic progress, began to appear in Los Angeles. I my- 
self have handled practically every staple that makes up the 
very great proportion of merchandising activity, whereas my 
successors of to-day, as well as their competitors, deal only in 
groceries and kindred lines. 

Two brothers, Emile and Theophile Vache, in the fall of 
i860, started what has become the oldest firm — Vache Freres — 
in the local wine business, at first utilizing the Bernard residence 
at Alameda and Third streets, in time used by the Govern- 
ment as a bonded warehouse. Later, they removed to the 
building on Aliso Street pnce occupied by the IVIedical College, 
where the cellars proved serviceable for a winery. There 
they attempted the manufacture of cream of tartar from wine- 

i860] Steam-Wagon — Odd Characters 281 

crystals, but the venture was not remunerative. In 1881, the 
Vaches, joined by their brother Adolphe, began to grow grapes 
in the Barton Vineyard in San Bernardino County, and some 
time afterward they bought near-by land and started the 
famous Brookside Vineyard. Emile is now dead; while Theo- 
phile, who retired and returned to Europe in 1892, retaining 
an interest in the firm of T. Vache & Company, passes his hours 
pleasantly on the picturesque island of St. George d'Oleron, in 
the Charente Inferieure, in his native France. 

On September 21st, Captain W. S. Hancock, who first came 
to Los Angeles in connection with the expedition against the 
Mojave Indians in 1858, sought to establish a new kind of 
express between Los Angeles and Fort Mojave, and sent out a 
camel in charge of Greek George to make the trial trip. When 
they had been gone two and a half days, the regular express 
messenger bound for Los Angeles met them at Lane's Crossing, 
apparently in none too promising a condition ; which later gave 
rise to a report that the camel had died on the desert. This 
occasioned numerous newspaper squibs cL propos of both the 
speed and the staying powers of the camel as contrasted with 
those of the burro; and finally, in October, the following 
announcement appeared placarded throughout the town: 

By Poulterer, De Ro & Eldridge 

Office and Salesroom, Corner California & 
Front Streets, San Francisco. 

Peremptory Sale 


Bactrian Camels 

Imported from the Amoor River 

Ex Caroline E. Foote. 

On Wednesday, Oct. id, i860, 

We will Sell at Public Auction ] 

In Lots to Suit Purchasers, 

for Cash, 

13 Bactrian Camels, 

From a cold and mountainous country, comprising 6 males and 7 females, 
(5 being with young,) all in fine health and condition. 

* * * For further particulars, inquire of the Auctioneers. 

282 Sixty Years in Southern California ii86o 

In 1858, Richard Garvey came to Los Angeles and entered 
the Government service as a messenger, between this city and 
New Alexico, for Captain W. S. Hancock. Later, he went to the 
Holcomb \'alley mines, where he first met Lucky Baldwin; and 
by 1872 he had disposed of some San Bernardino mine proper- 
ties at a figure which seemed to permit his retirement and ease 
for the rest of his life. For the next twenty ^-ears, he was 
variously employed, at times operating for Baldwin. Garvey 
is at present living in Los Angeles. 

What was one of the last bullfights here, toward the end 
of September, when a little child was trodden upon in the ring, 
reminds me not only of the succeeding sports, including horse- 
racing, but as well that Francis Temple should be credited with 
encouraging the importation and breeding of good horses. 
In i860 he paid seven thousand dollars, then considered an 
enormous sum, for Black Warrior; and not long afterward he 
bought Billy Blossom at a fancy figure. 

A political gathering or two enlivened the year i860. In 
July, when the local sentiment was, to all appearances, strongly 
in favor of Breckenridge and Lane, the Democratic candidates 
for President and Vice-President, one hundred guns were fired 
in their honor; and great was the jubilation of the Democratic 
hosts. A later meeting, under the auspices of the Breckenridge 
Club, was held in front of the Montgomery saloon on Main 
Street. Judge Dryden presided, and Senator IMilton S. Latham 
was the chief speaker. A number of ladies graced the oc- 
casion, some seated in chairs near by and others remaining 
in their vehicles drawn up in a semicircle before the speaker's 
stand. As a result of all this effort, the candidates in question 
did lead in the race here, but only by four votes. On counting 
the ballots the day after election, it was found that Brecken- 
ridge had two hundred and sixty-seven votes, while Douglas, 
the Independent Democratic nominee, had polled two hundred 
and sixty-three. Of permanent interest, perhaps, as showing 
the local sentiment on other questions of the time, is that Lincoln 
received in Los Angeles only one hundred and seventy-nine 

i860] Steam-Wagon — Odd Characters 283 

Generally, a candidate persuaded his friends to nominate 
and endorse him, but now and then one came forward and ad- 
dressed the public directly. In the fall of i860, the following 
announcement appeared in the Southern News: 

To THE Voters of Los Angeles Township: 

I am a candidate for the office of Justice of the Peace, and 
I desire to say to you, frankly, that I want you all to vote for me 
on the 6th of November next. I aspire to the office for two 
reasons, — first, because I am vain enough to believe that I 
am capable of performing the duties required, with credit to 
myself and to the satisfaction of all good citizens; second, 
because I am poor, and am desiring of making an honest living 

William G. Still. 

During my first visit to San Francisco, in the fall of 1853, and 
while e?i route to Los Angeles, my attention was called to a line of 
electric telegraph, then just installed between the Golden Gate 
and the town, for use in reporting the arrival of vessels. About 
a month later a line was built from San Francisco to Sacra- 
mento, Stockton and around to San Jose. Nothing further, 
however, was done toward reaching Southern California with 
the electric wire until the end of May or the beginning of 
June, i860, when President R. E. Raimond and Secretary Fred. 
J. McCrellish (promoters of the Pacific & Atlantic Telegraph 
Company, organized in 1858 to reach San Antonio, Texas, and 
Memphis, Tennessee) came to Los Angeles to lay the matter 
before our citizens. Stock was soon subscribed for a line 
through the city and as far as Fort Yuma, and in a few days 
Banning had fifty teams ready to haul the telegraph poles, 
which were deposited in time along the proposed route. In 
the beginning, interest was stimulated by the promise that the 
telegraph would be in operation by the Fourth of July; but 
Independence Day came and went, and the best that the 
telegraph company could do was to make the ambiguous report 

284 Sixty Years in Southern California [i860 

that there were so and so mam^ "holes in the ground. " Worse 
than that, it was announced, toward the end of July, that the 
stock of wire had given out ; and still worse, that no more could 
be had this side of the Atlantic States ! That news was indeed 
discouraging; but by the middle of August, twenty tons of wire 
were known to be on a clipper bound for San Francisco, around 
the Horn, and five tons were being hurried here by steamer. 
The wire arrived, in due season, and the most energetic efforts 
were made to establish telegraphic communication between 
Los Angeles and San Francisco. It was while AlcCrellish was 
slowly returning to the North, in June, that I met him as 
narrated in a previous chapter. 

Finally, at eight o'clock on October 8th, i860, a few magic 
words from the North were ticked out in the Los Angeles ofhce 
of the telegraph company. Two hours later, as those familiar 
with our local history know, Mayor Henry Melius sent the 
following memorable message to H. F. Teschemacher, President 
of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors: 

Allow me, on behalf of the citizens of Los Angeles, to send 
you greeting of fellowship and good-feeling on the comple- 
tion of the line of telegraph which now binds the two cities 

Whereupon, the next day, President Teschemacher (who, b}'' 
the way, was a well-known importer, ha\dng brought the first 
almond seed from the Mediterranean in the early fifties) replied 
to Mayor Melius: 

Your despatch has just been received. On behalf of the 
citizens of San Francisco, I congratulate Los Angeles, trusting 
that the benefit may be mutual. 

A ball in Los Angeles fittingly celebrated the event, as 
will be seen from the following despatch, penned by Henry D. 
Barrows, who was then Southern California correspondent of 
the Bulletin: 

i86o] Steam-Wagon — Odd Characters 285 

Los Angeles, October 9, i860, 
10.45 A. M. 

Here is the maiden salutation of Los Angeles to San Fran- 
cisco by lightning ! This despatch — the first to the press from 
this point — the correspondent of the Bulletin takes pleasure in 
communicating in behalf of his fellow-citizens. The first 
intelligible communication by the electric wire was received 
here last night at about eight o'clock, and a few hours later, 
at a grand and brilliant ball, given in honor of the occasion, 
despatches were received from San Francisco announcing the 
complete working of the entire line. Speeches were made 
in the crowded ball-room by E. J. C. Kewen and J. McCrellish. 
News of Colonel Baker's election in Oregon to the United States 
Senate electrified the Republicans, but the Breckenridges 
doubted it at first. Just before leaving yesterday. Senator 
Latham planted the first telegraph pole from this point east, 
assisted by a concourse of citizens. 

Barrows' telegram concluded with the statement, highly sug- 
gestive of the future commercial possibilities of the telegraph, 
that the steamer Senator would leave San Pedro that evening 
with three thousand or more boxes of grapes. 

On October i6th, the steamer J. T. Wright, named after the 
boat-owner and widely advertised as "new, elegant, and fast," 
arrived at San Pedro, in charge of Captain Robert Haley; and 
many persons professed to see in her appearance on the scene 
new hope for beneficial coastwise competition. After three or 
four trips, however, the steamer was withdrawn. 

Leonard John Rose, a German by birth, and brother-in- 
law of H. K. S. O'Melveny, arrived with his family by the 
Butterfield Stage Route in November, having fought and con- 
quered, so to speak, every step of his way from Illinois, from 
which State, two years before, he had set out. Rose and 
other pioneers tried to reach California along the Thirty-fifth 
parallel, a route surveyed by Lieutenant Beale but presenting 
terrific hardships; on the sides of mountains, at times, they had 
to let down their wagons by ropes, and again they almost died 
of thirst. The Mojave Indians, too, set upon them and did not 
desist until seventeen Indians had been killed and nine whites 
were slain or wounded. Rose himself not escaping injury. With 

286 Sixty Years in Southern California [i860 

the help of other emigrants, Rose and his family managed to 
reach Albuquerque, where within two years in the hotel busi- 
ness he acquired fourteen thousand dollars. Then, coming to 
Los Angeles, he bought from William Wolfskill one hundred 
and sixty acres near the old Mission of San Gabriel, and so 
prospered that he was soon able to enlarge his domain to over 
two thousand acres. He laid out a splendid vineyard and 
orange grove, and being full of ambition, enterprise and taste, 
it was not long before he had the show-place of the county. 

Apparently, Temple really inaugurated his new theater 
with the coming to Los Angeles in November of that year of 
"the Great Star Company of Stark & Ryer, " as well as with 
the announcement made at the time by their management: 
"This is the first advent of a theatrical company here. " Stark 
& Ryer were in Los Angeles for a week or two; and though I 
should not vouch for them as stars, the little hall was crowded 
each night, and almost to suffocation. There were no fire 
ordinances then as to filling even the aisles and the window- 
sills, nor am I sure that the conventional fire-pail, more often 
empty than filled with water, stood anywhere about; but 
just as many tickets were sold, regardless of the seating ca- 
pacity. Tragedy gave way, alternately, to comedy, one of 
the evenings being devoted to The Honeymoon; and as this 
was not quite long enough to satisfy the onlookers, who had 
neither trains nor boats to catch, there was an after-piece. 
In those days, when Los Angeles was entirely dependent on 
the North for theatrical and similar talent, it sometimes 
happened that the steamer was delayed or that the "star" 
failed to catch the ship and so could not arrive when expected ; 
as a result of which patrons, who had journeyed in from the 
ranches, had to journey home again with their curiosity and 
appetite for the histrionic unsatisfied. 

Prisoners, especially Indians, were employed on public works. 
As late as November, i860, the Water Overseer was empowered 
to take out any Indians who might be in the calaboose, and 
to use them for repairing the highways and bridges. 

About i860, Nathan Jacoby came to Los Angeles, on my 

i860] Steam-Wagon — Odd Characters 287 

invitation, as I had known him in Europe; and he was with me 
about a year. When I sold out, he entered the employ of M. 
Kremer and later went into business for himself. As the 
senior partner of Jacoby Brothers, he died suddenly in 191 1. 
Associated with Nathan at different periods were his brothers, 
Herman, Abraham, Morris, Charles and Lesser Jacoby, all of 
them early arrivals. Of this group, Charles and Lesser, both 
active in business circles in their day, are also dead. 

Toward the end of i860, Solomon Lazard returned to 
France, to visit his mother; but no sooner had he arrived at his 
old home and registered, according to law, with the police, 
than he was arrested, charged with having left his fatherland at 
the age of seventeen, without having performed military duty. 
In spite of his American citizenship, he was tried by court- 
martial and sentenced to a short imprisonment; but through 
the intervention of the United States Minister, Charles J. 
Faulkner — the author of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 — 
and the clemency of the Emperor Napoleon III., he was finally 
released. He had to furnish a substitute, however, or pay a 
fine of fifteen hundred francs ; and he paid the fine. At length, 
notwithstanding his unpleasant experience, Lazard arrived in 
Los Angeles about the middle of March, 1861. 

Tired of the wretched sidewalks, John Temple, in Decem- 
ber, i860, set to work to introduce an improvement in front 
of his Main Street block, an experiment that was watched with 
interest. Bricks were covered with a thick coating of asphalt 
brought from La Brea Ranch, which was smoothed while still 
warm and then sprinkled with sand ; the combination promising 
great durability. In the summer season, however, the coating 
became soft and gluey, and was not comfortable to walk upon. 

I have already spoken of the effect of heat and age on 
foodstuffs such as eggs and butter, when brought over the hot 
desert between San Bernardino and Los Angeles. This dis- 
advantage continued for years; nor was the succeeding plan 
of bringing provisions from San Francisco and the North by 
way of the ocean without its obstacles. A. Ulyard, the baker, 
realized the situation, and in December advertised "fresh 

288 Sixty Years in Southern California [i860] 

crackers, baked in Los Angeles, and superior to those half 
spoiled by the sea voyage." 

Previous to the days of warehouses, and much before the 
advent of railroads, the public hay-scale was an institution, 
having been constructed by Francis Melius in the dim past. 
Exposed to the elements, it stood alone out in the center 
of Los Angeles Street, somewhat south of Aliso; and in the 
lawless times of the young town was a silent witness to the 
numerous crimes perpetrated in the adjacent Calle de Los 
Negros. Onto its rough platform the neighboring farmers 
drove their heavy loads, often waiting an hour or two for the 
arrival of the owner, who alone had the key to its mysterious 
mechanism. Speaking of this lack of a warehouse brings to 
my mind the pioneer of 1850, Edouard Naud, who first at- 
tracted attention as a clever pastryman with a little shop on 
Commercial Street where he made a specialty of lady-fingers — 
selling them at fifty cents a dozen. Engaging in the wool in- 
dustry, he later become interested in wool and this led him in 
1878 to erect Naud's warehouse on Alameda Street, at present 
known as the Union Warehouse. ' Naud died in 188 1 . His son, 
Edward, born in Los Angeles, is famous as an amateur chef 
who can prepare a French dinner that even a professional 
might be proud of. 

In May, as elsewhere stated, Henry Melius was elected 
Mayor of Los Angeles; and on the twenty-sixth of December 
he died — the first to yield that office to the inexorable 
demands of Death. The news of his demise called forth 
unfeigned expressions of regret ; for Melius was not only a man 
of marked ability, but he was of genial temperament and the 
soul of honor. 

'Destroyed by fire on September 22d, 1915. 



THE year 1861 dawned dark and foreboding. On the 
twentieth of the preceding December, South CaroHna 
had seceded, and along the Pacific, as elsewhere, men 
were anxiously wondering what would happen next. Threats 
and counter-threats clearly indicated the disturbed state of 
the public mind; and when, near Charleston Harbor, a hostile 
shot was fired at the Star of the West, the certainty of further 
trouble, particularly with the coming inauguration of Lincoln, 
was everywhere felt. 

Aside, however, from these disturbing events so much 
affecting commercial life, the year, sandwiched between two 
wet seasons, was in general a prosperous one. There were evil 
effects of the heavy rains, and business in the spring was 
rather dull ; but cattlemen, upon whose success so many other 
people depended, took advantage of the favoring conditions 
and profited accordingly. 

During the period of the flood in 1859-60, the river, as 
we have seen, was impassable, and for months there was so 
much water in the bed, ordinarily dry, that foot-passage was 
interrupted. In January, 1861, therefore, the Common 
Council, under the influence of one of its members, E. Moulton, 
whose dairy was in East Los Angeles, provided a flimsy foot- 
bridge in his neighborhood. If my memory serves me, con- 
struction was delayed, and so the bridge escaped the next 
winter's flood, though it went down years later. 
19 289 

290 Sixty Years in Southern California [1861 

On January 9th, the schooner Lewis Perry arrived at anchor- 
age, to be towed across the bar and to the wharf by the httle 
steamer' Comet. This was the first sea-going vessel that had 
ever visited New San Pedro with a full cargo, and demon- 
strated, it was thought by many, that the port was easily 
navigable by vessels drawing eleven feet of water or less! 
Comments of all kinds were made upon this event, one scribe 
writing : 

We expect to see coasting steamers make their regular 
trips to New Town, discharging freight and loading passengers 
on the wharf, safe from the dangers of rough weather, instead 
of lying off at sea, subjecting life and property to the perils of 
southeast gales and the breakers. The Senator even, in the 
opinion of experienced persons, might easily enter the channel 
on the easterly side of Dead Man's Island, and thence find a safe 
passage in the Creek. // will yet happen! 

John M. Griffith came to Los Angeles in 1861, having four 
years previously married a sister of John J. Tomlinson. With 
the latter he formed a partnership in the passenger and freight- 
carrying business, their firm competing with Banning & Com- 
pany until 1868, when Tomlinson died. 

This same year, at the age of about eighteen, Eugene Meyer 
arrived. He first clerked for Solomon Lazard, in the retail dry- 
goods business; and in 1867 he was admitted into partnership. 
On November 20th of that year Meyer married Miss Harriet, 
the youngest daughter of Joseph Newmark — who officiated. 

Felix Bachman, who came in 1853, was at various times 
in partnership with Philip Sichel (after whom Sichel Street is 
named, and Councilman in 1862), Samuel Laubheim and Ben 
Schloss, the firm being known as Bachman & Company; and 
on Los Angeles Street near Commercial they carried on the 
largest business in town. Bachman secured much Salt Lake 
trade and in 1861 opposed high freight rates; but although 
well off when he left here, he died a poor man in San Francisco, 
at the age of nearly one hundred years. 

In 1861, Adolph Junge arrived and established a drug- 

' A term locally applied to tugs. 


'■"'""""""■' S A S T A HA ItK A rT\~ I^^^ 

. lU r' J V >» 




A , ( S A ^ •»< I > 


Los Angeles County in 1854 

From a contemporary map 

The Morris Adobe, once Fremont's Headquarters 

i86i] The Rumblings of War 291 

store in the Temple Block, his only competitor being Theodore 
Wollweber; and there he continued for nearly twenty years, one 
of his prescription books, now in the County Museum, evi- 
dencing his activity. For a while, F, J. Gieze, the well-known 
druggist for so many years on North Main Street, and an 
arrival of '74, clerked for Junge. At the beginning of the 
sixties, Dr. A. B. Hay ward practiced medicine here, his ofBce 
being next to Workman Brothers' saddlery, on Main Street. 
Wollweber's name recalls a practical joke of the late sixties, 
when some waggish friend raised the cry that there was a bear 
across the river, and induced my Teutonic neighbor to go in 
hot pursuit. After bracing himself for the supreme effort, 
Wollweber shot the beast dead; only to learn that the bear, 
a blind and feeble animal, was a favorite pet, and that 
it would take just twenty-five dollars to placate the irate 
owner ! 

The absence in general of shade trees was so noticeable that 
when John Temple, on January 31st, planted a row facing 
Temple Building there was the usual town gossip. Charley 
Ducommon followed Temple's example. Previously, there had 
been several wide-spreading trees in front of the Bella Union 
hotel, and it came to pass within the next five years that many 
pepper-trees adorned the streets. 

In 1 86 1, the Post Office was removed from North Spring 
Street to a frame building on Main Street, opposite Commer- 
cial. About the same time when, owing to floods, no mail 
arrived for three or four weeks and someone facetiously hung 
out a sign announcing the office "To Let!" the Washington 
postal authorities began issuing stamped envelopes, of the 
values of twelve and twenty-four cents, for those business men 
of Los Angeles and the Pacific Coast who were likely to use the 
recently-developed Pony Express. 

Matthew Keller, or Don Mateo, as he was called, who died 
in 1 88 1, was a quaint personality of real ability, who had a 
shop on the northwest corner of Los Angeles and Commercial 
streets, and owned the adjoining store in which P. Beaudry had 
been in business. His operations were original and his adver- 

292 Sixty Years in Southern California [1861 

tising unique, as will be seen from his announcement in the 
Star in February: 

M. Keller, to His Customers 

You are hereby notified that the time has at last arrived 
when you must pay up, without further delay, or I shall be 
obliged to invoke the aid of the law and the lawyers. 

Your most ob't servant, 

M. Keller. 

Which warning was followed, in the next issue, by this : 

M. Keller, to His Customers 

The Right of Secession Admitted! 

You are hereby notified that the time has arrived when 
you must pay up, without further delay, or I shall be obliged 
to invoke the aid of the law and the lawyers. 

After such settlement, slow-payers are requested to secede. 

M. Keller. 

(to be augmented next week) 

This later advertisement, with the line in parenthesis, 
continued to be printed, week after week, without change, 
for at least twelve months. 

The following year, Keller, in flaring headlines, offered for 
sale the front of his Los Angeles vineyard, facing on Aliso 
Street, in building lots of twenty by one hundred feet, saying, 
in his prospectus: 

Great improvements are on the tapis in this quarter. 
Governor Downey and the intrepid Beaudry propose to open a 
street to let the light of day shine in upon their dark domains. 
On the Equerry side of Aliso Street, "what fine legs your master 
has, " must run to give way for more permanent fixtures. 
Further on, the Prior estates are about to be improved by the 
astute and far-seeing Templito; and Keller sells lots on the 
sunny side of Aliso Street. The map is on view at my office; 
come in and make your selections, — first come, first served! 
Terms will be made handy ! 

M. Keller. 

i86ii The Rumblings of War 293 

Nathaniel Pry or — sometimes known as Don Miguel N. 
Pryor or Prior — is the pioneer referred to by Keller. At the 
age of thirty, it is said, in 1828, he came here, and fifteen or 
twenty years later, about the time that he was a Regidor or 
Councilman, was one of eight or ten Easterners who had farms 
within the pueblo district. His property, in part a vineyard, 
included what is now Commercial to First streets and possibly 
from Los Angeles Street to the river ; on it was an adobe which 
is still standing on Jackson Street, and is the only mud- 
brick structure in that section. For a while, and probably 
because he had loaned Pryor some money, F. P. F. Temple had 
an interest in the estate. Pryor was twice married, having 
a son, Charles, by his first wife, and a son, Nathaniel, Jr., by his 
second. Pablo Pryor of San Juan was another son. The 
first Mrs. Pryor died about 1840, and is one of the few — with 
the mother of Pio Pico — buried inside of the old church at the 
Plaza. The second Mrs. Pryor, who inherited the property, died 
about 1857. A granddaughter, Mrs. Lottie Pryor, is a sur- 
viving member of this family. 

During the administration of Padre Bias Raho, a genial, 
broad-minded Italian, several attempts were made, beginning 
with 1857 or 1858, to improve the old church at the Plaza; and 
in 1861, the historic edifice, so long unchanged, was practically 
rebuilt. The front adobe wall, which had become damaged by 
rains, was taken down and reconstructed of brick; some alter- 
ations were made in the tower; and the interesting old tiled 
roof was replaced — to the intense regret of later and more 
appreciative generations — with modern, less durable shingles. 
A fence was provided, and trees, bushes and plants were set out. 
The church was also frescoed, inside and out, by Henri Penelon, 
the French pioneer artist and photographer, who painted upon 
the wall the following inscription : 

Los Fieles de Esta Parroquia a la Reina de los Angeles, 1861.^ 

Early in March, Sanchez Street was opened by the Common 
Council. It was opposite the northern section of Arcadia 

»" The Faithful of this Parish, to the Queen of the Angels." 

294 Sixty Years in Southern California [1861 

Block, passed through the properties of Sanchez, Pico, Coronel 
and others, and terminated at the Plaza. 

The Los Angeles Mounted Rifles, part of the five thousand 
militia wanted by California, was organized on March 6th at a 
meeting in the Court House presided over by George W. Gift, 
with M. J. Newmark, who became an officer in the company, 
as Secretary. 

Late in March, John Frohling rented from the City Fathers 
a space under the Temple Market building for a wine cellar; 
and in December, i860, at the close of his vintage, when he had 
conducted a hearty harvest-home celebration, he filled the 
vault with pipes and other casks containing twenty thousand 
or more gallons of native wines. In a corner, a bar was speedily 
built; and by many Angelenos that day not associated with 
at least one pilgrimage to Frohling's cool and rather obscure 
recesses was considered incomplete. 

Few who witnessed the momentous events of 1861 will 
forget the fever-heat of the nation. The startling news of the 
attack on Fort Sumter took twelve days by Pony Express to 
reach the Coast, the overland telegraph not being completed 
until six months later; but when, on the twenty-fourth of April, 
the last messenger in the relay of riders dashed into San Fran- 
cisco with the story, an excited population was soon seething 
about the streets. San Francisco instantly flashed the details 
south, awakening here much the same mingled feelings of 
elation and sorrow. 

When the war thus broke out, Albert Sidney Johnston, 
a fellow-townsman who had married a sister of Dr. J. S. Griffin, 
and who, in 1857, had successfully placed Utah under Federal 
control, resigned from his command as head of the Department 
of the Pacific — General Edwin V. Sumner succeeding him — and, 
being a Southerner, left for the South, by way of Warner's 
Ranch and the Overland Route, with about a hundred com- 
panions, most of whom were intercepted at Fort Yuma through 
the orders of Captain W. S. Hancock. According to Senator 
Cornelius Cole, Sumner arrived at Johnston's headquarters in 
San Francisco after dark; and in spite of Johnston's protest, 

i86ii The Rumblings of War 295 

insisted on assuming command at once. Johnston took up 
arms for the Confederacy, and was made a Brigadier-General; 
but at Shiloh he was killed, the news of his death causing here 
the sincerest regret. I shall speak of the loss of one of General 
Johnston's sons in the disaster to the Ada Hancock; another 
son, William Preston, became President of Tulane University. 

Others of our more enthusiastic Southerners, such as 
Cameron E. Thom and J. Lancaster Brent, also joined the 
Rebellion and proceeded to the seat of war. Thom, who has 
since attained much distinction, returned to Los Angeles, 
where he is still living ^ Brent never came back here, having 
settled near New Orleans ; and there I again met him, while I 
was attending the Exposition. He had fought through the 
War, becoming a General before its close ; and he told me that 
he had been arrested by Federal officers while on his way to 
the South from Los Angeles, but had made his escape. 

Among the very few who went to the front on the Union side 
and returned here was Charles Meyrs Jenkins, already referred 
to as a city Zanjero. Owing to the possible need of troops 
here, as well as to the cost of transportation, volunteers from the 
Pacific slope were not called for and Jenkins joined an Eastern 
cavalry battalion organized in October, 1862. Even then, he 
and his comrades were compelled to pay their own way to the 
Atlantic seaboard, where they were incorporated into the 
Second Massachusetts Cavalry. Jenkins engaged in twenty 
battles, and for fifteen months was a prisoner of war confined 
at both Andersonville and Libby; suffering such terrible hard- 
ships that he was but one of three, out of a hundred and fifty 
of his battalion, who came out alive. 

Not everyone possibly even among those familiar with the 
building of the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad, knows 
that an effort was made, as far back as 1861, to finance a rail- 
road here. About the middle of February in that year, Murray 
Morrison and Abel Stearns, Assemblymen, learned of the 
willingness of Eastern capitalists to build such a road within 
eighteen months, providing the County would subscribe one 

' Captain Thom died on February 2d, 19 15. 

296 Sixty Years in Southern California [1861 

hundred thousand dollars toward the undertaking, and the 
City fifty thousand. The Legislature therefore on May 17th, 
1861, granted the franchise; but important as was the matter 
to our entire district, nothing further was done until 1863 
to give life to the movement. 

For almost a decade after I came here, St. Valentine's Day 
was seldom observed in Los Angeles; but about 1861 or 1862, 
the annual exchange of decorated cards, with their sentimen- 
tal verses, came to be somewhat general. 

Phineas Banning was a staunch Republican and an ardent 
Abolitionist; and it was not extraordinary that on May 25th, 
at a grand Union demonstration in Los Angeles, he should 
have been selected to present to the Union Club, in his charac- 
teristically vigorous manner, an American flag made for the 
occasion, Columbus Sims, as President, accepted the emblem, 
after which there was a procession, led by the First Dragoons' 
band, many participants being on horseback. In those days 
such a procession had done its duty when it tramped along 
Main Street and around the Plaza and back, by way of Spring 
Street, as far as First ; and everyone was in the right frame of 
mind to hear and enjoy the patriotic speeches made by Captain 
Winfield Scott Hancock, General Ezra Drown and Major James 
Henry Carleton, while in the distance was fired a salute of 
thirty-four guns — one for each State in the Union. 

Senator William McKendree Gwin was another man of 
prominence. Following his search for gold with the Forty- 
niners — due, he used to say, to advice from John C. Calhoun, 
who, probably taking his cue from Dana's prophecy in Two 
Years Before the Mast, one day put his finger on the map and 
predicted that, should the bay now called San Francisco ever 
be possessed by Americans, a city rivaling New York would 
spring up on its shores — Gwin came to Los Angeles occasion- 
ally, and never forgot to visit me at my home. In 1861, he 
was arrested by the Federal Government for his known sym- 
pathy with the South, and was kept a prisoner for a couple of 
years; after which he went to France and there planned to 
carry through, under force of arms, the colonization of Sonora, 

i86i] The Rumblings of War 297 

Mexico, depending in vain on Napoleon III. and Maximilian 
for support. Notwithstanding this futile effort, Gwin became 
a leader in national Democratic councils, and was an intimate 
adviser of Samuel J. Tilden in his historic campaign. 

Oscar Macy, son of Dr. Obed Macy, having as a news- 
paper man enthusiastically advocated the election of Fremont 
in 1856, was appointed, on Lincoln's inauguration, to the 
Collectorship of Customs at San Pedro ; a post which he con- 
tinued to fill even after the office had been reduced to an in- 
spectorship, later resigning in favor of George C. Alexander. 
This recalls another appointment by Lincoln — that of Major 
Antonio Maria Pico, a nephew of Pio Pico, to the Receivership 
of Public Moneys at Los Angeles. Pico lived at San Jose; 
and finding that his new duties exiled him from his family, he 
soon resigned the office. 

Old-time barbers, as the reader may be aware, were often 
surgeons, and the arrival in Commercial Street, in the early 
sixties, of J. A. Meyer, "late of San Francisco," was an- 
nounced in part as follows : 

Gentlemen will be waited on and have Shaving, Hair- Dress- 
ing, and Shampooing prepared in the most luxurious manner, 
and in the finest style of the art; while Cupping, Bleeding, and 
Teeth-Extracting will also be attended to! 

Fort Tejon had been pretty well broken up by June, when 
a good deal of the army property was moved to Los Angeles. 
Along with Uncle Sam's bag and baggage, came thirty or more 
of the camels previously mentioned, including half a dozen 
"young uns." For some months they were corralled uncom- 
fortably near the genial Quartermaster's Main Street office; 
but in October they were removed to a yard fixed up for them 
on D. Anderson's premises, opposite the Second Street school- 

Starting with the cook brought to Los Angeles by Joseph 
Newmark, the Chinese population in 1861 had increased to 
twenty-one men and eight women — a few of them cooks and 

298 Sixty Years in Southern California [1861] 

servants, but most of them working in five or six laundries. 
About the middle of June of that year, Chun Chick arrived 
from San Francisco and created a flurry, not merely in China- 
town, but throughout our little city, by his announcement that 
he would start a store here ; and by the thirteenth of July, this 
pioneer Chinese shop, a veritable curiosity shop, was opened. 
The establishment was on Spring Street, opposite the Court 
House; and besides a general assortment of Chinese goods, 
there was a fine display of preserves and other articles hitherto 
not obtainable in town. Chun Chick was clever in his appeals 
of "A Chinese Merchant to the Public;" but he nevertheless 
joined the celebrities advertised for delinquent taxes. Chun 
Chick — or, as he appeared on the tax collector's list, Chick 
Chun — was down for five hundred dollars in merchandise, with 
one dollar and twenty-five cents for City, and the same 
amount for school taxes. Sing Hop, Ching Hop and Ah 
Hong were other Chinamen whose memory failed at the critical 
tax time of that year. 

For years, until wharves made possible for thousands the 
pleasures of rod and reel, clams, since used for bait, were almost 
a drug on the market, being hawked about the streets in 1861 
at a dollar a bucket — a price not very remunerative consider- 
ing that they came from as far north as San Buenaventura. 



WHEN the Civil War began, California and the neigh- 
boring territory showed such pronounced Southern 
sympathies that the National Government kept 
both under close surveillance, for a time stationing Major, 
afterward General James Henry Carleton — in 1862 sent across 
the Colorado River when the Government drove out the 
Texans — with a force at Camp Latham, near Ballona, and 
dispatching another force to Drum Barracks, near Wilming- 
ton. The Government also established a thorough system 
of espionage over the entire Southwest. In Los Angeles and 
vicinity, many people, some of whom I mention elsewhere, 
were arrested; among them being Henry Schaeffer who was 
taken to Wilmington Barracks but through influential friends 
was released after a few days. On account of the known politi- 
cal views of their proprietors, some of the hotels also were 
placed under watch for a while; but beyond the wrath of the 
innkeepers at the sentinels pacing up and down their verandas, 
nothing more serious transpired. Men on both sides grew hot- 
headed and abused one another roundly, but few bones were 
broken and little blood was shed. A policy of leniency was 
adopted by the authorities, and sooner or later persons 
arrested for political offenses were discharged. 

The ominous tidings from beyond the Colorado, and their 
effect, presaging somewhat the great internecine conflict, 
recalls an unpublished anecdote of Winfield Scott Hancock, 


300 Sixty Years in Southern California [1861 

who was a graduate of West Point, an intense patriot and a 
"natural born" fighter. One day in 1861, coincident with the 
Texan invasion, and while I was visiting him in his office on 
Main Street near Third (after he had removed from the upstairs 
rooms adjoining the Odd Fellows' Hall in the Temple Build- 
ing) , John Goller dropped in with the rumor that conspirators, 
in what was soon to become Arizona, were about to seize the 
Government stores. Hancock was much wrought up when he 
heard the report, and declared, with angry vehemence, that he 
would "treat the whole damned lot of them as common thieves!" 
In the light of this demonstration and his subsequent part as 
a national character of great renown, Hancock's speech at the 
Fourth of July celebration, in 1861, when the patriotic An- 
geleiios assembled at the Plaza and marched to the shady grove 
of Don Luis Sainsevain, is worthy of special note. Hancock 
made a sound argument for the preservation of the Union, and 
was heartily applauded; and a few days afterward one of the 
local newspapers, in paying him a deserved tribute, almost 
breathed an augury in saying: 

Captain Hancock's loyalty to the Stars and Stripes has 
never for a moment been doubted, and we hope he may be 
advanced in rank and honors, and live to a green old age, to see 
the glorious banner of our country yet waving in peaceful glory 
over a united, prosperous, and happy people. 

Few of us, however, who heard Hancock speak on that 
occasion, dreamed to what high position he would eventually 

Soon after this episode, that is, in the early part of August, 
1861, Hancock left for the front, in company with his wife; 
and taking with him his military band, he departed from San 
Pedro on the steamer Senator. Some of my readers may know 
that Mrs. Hancock — after whom the ill-fated Ada Hancock 
was named — was a Southern woman, and though very devoted 
to her husband, had certain natural sympathies for the South; 
but none, I dare say, will have heard how she perpetrated 
an amusing joke upon him on their way north. When once 

i86i] Hancock — Lady Franklin — The Deluge 301 

out upon the briny deep, she induced the musicians to play 
Dixie, to the great amusement of the passengers. Like many 
Southerners, Mrs. Hancock was an Episcopalian and frequently 
contributed her unusual musical talent to the service of the choir 
of St. Athanasius Church, the little edifice for a while at the foot 
of Pound Cake Hill — first the location of the Los Angeles High 
School and now of the County Courthouse — and the forerunner 
of the Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, on Olive Street opposite 
Central Park. 

Having in mind the sojourn in Los Angeles for years of 
these representative Americans, the following editorial from 
the Los Angeles Star on the departure of the future General 
and Presidential nominee, seems to me now of more than pass- 
ing significance: 

While resident here. Captain Hancock took great interest in 
our citizens, the development of our resources, and the welfare 
of this section of the country; and as a public-spirited, enter- 
prising gentleman, he will be missed from among us, and his 
most estimable lady will long live in the hearts of her many 
friends. We desire their prosperity, happiness, and long life, 
wherever their lot may be cast. 

The establishing of Drum Barracks and Camp Drum at 
Wilmington was a great contribution to the making of that 
town, for the Government not only spent over a million dollars 
in buildings and works there, and constantly drew on the town 
for at least part of its supplies, but provisions of all kinds were 
sent through Wilmington to troops in Southern California, 
Utah, Yuma, Tucson and vicinity, and New Mexico. 

P. H., popularly known as Major Downing, was em- 
ployed by Banning for some time during the War to take 
charge of the great wagon-trains of Government supplies sent 
inland; and later he opened a general merchandise store in 
Wilmington, after which he transacted a large volume of 
business with H. Ncwmark & Company. 

At the breaking out of the War, the Southern Overland Mail 
Route was discontinued and a contract was made with Butter- 

302 Sixty Years in Southern California [1861 

field for service along a more central course, by way of Great 
Salt Lake. There was then a stage six times a week; and a 
branch line ran to Denver, the terminus having been changed 
from St. Joseph to Omaha. Twenty days was the time allowed 
the company to get its stages through during eight months of 
the year, and twenty-three days for the more uncertain winter 
months. This contract was made for three years, and one 
million dollars a year was the compensation allowed the Butter- 
fields. After the War, the old route was resumed. 

J. De Barth Shorb came to Los Angeles at the commence- 
ment of the War, as Assistant Superintendent of the Phila- 
delphia & California Oil Company; and in 1867 he bought the 
Temescal grant and began to mine upon the property. The 
same year he married a daughter of B. D. Wilson, establishing a 
relationship which brought him a partnership in the San Gabriel 
Wine Company, of which he eventually became manager. 
His position in this community, until he died in 1895, was 
important, the little town of Shorb testifying to one of his 

Not only were the followers of the indefatigable padres 
rather tardy in taking up the cultivation of olives, but the 
olive-oil industry hereabouts was a still later venture. As an 
illustration, even in 1861 somewhat less than five hundred 
gallons of olive oil was made in all Los Angeles County, and 
most of that was produced at the San Fernando Mission. 

How important was the office of the Zanjero, may be gath- 
ered from the fact that in 1861 he was paid twelve hundred 
dollars a year, while the Mayor received only eight hundred dol- 
lars and the Treasurer two hundred dollars less than the Mayor. 
At the same time, the Marshal, owing to the hazardous duties 
of his office, received as much as the Mayor; the City Attorney 
one hundred dollars less than the Treasurer ; and the Clerk but 
three hundred and fifty. 

By 1 86 1, there were serious doubts as to the future of 
cattle-raising in Southern California, but Banning & Company 
came forward proposing to slaughter at New San Pedro and 
contracted with John Temple, John Rains and others, to do 

i86i] Hancock — Lady Franklin — The Deluge 303 

their killing. For a while, the enterprise was encouraged; 
Temple alone having six hundred head so disposed of and sold. 

In September, Columbus Sims, the popular attorney of 
unique personality who from 1856 to i860 had been Clerk of 
the United States District Court, was appointed Lieutenant- 
Colonel in the United States Army and placed in charge of 
Camp Alert, at the Pioneer Race Coiirse, San Francisco, where 
twelve companies were soon assembled; and a month or two 
later he was made Colonel in the Second Cavalry. Late in 
December of that year, however, he had an altercation with 
D. D. Colton, in San Francisco, when blows were exchanged 
and Sims drew "a deadly weapon." For this, the doughty 
Colonel was arrested and held to await the action of the Grand 
Jury ; but I am under the impression that nothing very serious 
befell the belligerent Sims as a result. 

On September nth, H. Stassforth, after having bought out 
A. W. Schulze, announced a change in the control of the 
United States Hotel, inviting the public, at the same time, to a 
"free lunch," at half -past four o'clock the following Sunday. 
Stassforth was an odd, but interesting character, and stated in 
his advertisement that guests were at liberty, when they had 
partaken of the collation, to judge if he could "keep a hotel." 
Whether successful or otherwise, Stassforth did not long con- 
tinue in control, for in November, 1862, he disposed of the busi- 
ness to Webber & Haas, who in turn sold it to Louis Mesmer. 

In the fall, an atrocious murder took place here, proving 
but the first in a series of vile deeds for which, eventually, the 
culprit paid with his own life at the hands of an infuriated popu- 
lace. On Sunday evening, September 30th, some Frenchmen 
were assembled to sit up with the body of one of their recently- 
deceased countrymen; and at about eleven o'clock a quarrel 
arose between two of the watchers, A. M. G., or Michel Lache- 
nais — a man once of good repute, who had cast some slurs 
at the French Benevolent Society — and Henry Delaval, a re- 
spected employee of the Aliso Mills who spiritedly defended the 
organization. Lachenais drew a weapon, approached Delaval 
and tried to shoot him ; but the pistol missed fire. Thereupon 

304 Sixty Years in Southern California [i86i 

Lachenais, enraged, walked toward a lamp, adjusted two other 
caps, and deliberately shot Delaval through the body. The 
next day his victim died. Lachenais made his escape and 
so eluded the authorities that it was not until the middle of 
February, 1866, that he surrendered himself to Deputy Sheriff 
Henderson. Then he was tried, but was acquitted. 

About October, Remi Nadeau, a Canadian, after whom 
Nadeau Street is named and father of George A. Nadeau, came 
across the Plains to Los Angeles, having spent the previous 
winter, en route, in Salt Lake City ; and for a while he teamed 
between here and Montana. Within the year, believing that 
San Francisco offered a larger field, he moved to that city 
and continued his operations there. 

In the front part of a little building on ]\Iain Street, between 
Second and Third, Lorenzo Leek, whom I have already men- 
tioned, conducted a grocery, living with his family in the rear. 
He was a plain, unassuming, honest Dane of the old school, 
who attended scrupulously to his business and devoted his 
Sundays and holidays to modest amusements. On such days, 
he would put his wife, Caroline, and their children on a little 
wagon that he owned and take them to his vineyard on the 
outskirts of the town; and there he would enjoy with them 
those rural pastimes to which he had been accustomed in the 
Fatherland, and which to many early-comers here were a source 
of rest and delight. 

On the afternoon of Saturday, October 17th, Francisco 
Cota, a Mexican boy fifteen years of age, entered Leek's store 
while he was out, and, taking advantage of the fact that Frau 
Leek was alone, whipped out a knife, stabbed her to death, stole 
what cash was in sight and then escaped to a vineyard, where 
he hid himself. John W. Henderson, the son of A. J. Hender- 
son, a Deputy Sheriff here still living in Los Angeles, came in 
soon after and finding Mrs. Leek horribly disfigured, he gave 
the alarm. Neighbors and friends at once started in pursuit 
and caught Cota; and having tied a rope around the murderer's 
neck during the excitement they dragged him down to Alameda 
Street, where I witnessed the uproar. As they proceeded by 

i86i] Hancock — Lady Franklin — The Deluge 305 

way of Aliso Street, the mob became more and more in- 
furiated, so that before it reached the spot which had been 
selected for his execution, the boy had been repeatedly stabbed 
and was nearly dead. At length, he was strung up as a warning 
to other malefactors. 

A short time after this melancholy event, I was driving with 
my wife to the Cerritos rancho and, missing our road, we 
stopped at a Mexican home to inquire the way. The woman 
who answered our summons proved to be one who knew, and 
was known by all Los Angeles merchants on account of her 
frequent excursions to town; she was, in fact, the mother 
of the Mexican boy who had been mobbed and hung for the 
murder of poor Leek's wife! The sight of Grmgos kindled 
anew her maternal wrath; and she set up such a hue and cry 
as to preclude any further intelligible conversation. 

California being so far removed from the seat of war did 
not awake to its full significance until the credit of the Govern- 
ment began to decline. Four weeks were required, it is well 
to remember, to complete the trip from New York to San 
Francisco via Panama, and our knowledge of events in the 
East was far from perfect. Until the completion of the con- 
tinental telegraph in October, 1861, the only immediate news 
that reached the Coast came privately and we were, therefore, 
pretty much in the dark until the arrival of Eastern papers, 
and even after that telegraphing was so expensive that our 
poorly-patronized little news-sheets could not afford the out- 
lay. A few of us therefore made up a purse of one hundred 
dollars a month, which small sum enabled us to allay our 
anxiety at least in the case of very important happenings. 

It must not be forgotten, though, that we then had a little 
relief from San Francisco, whose newspapers, containing some 
telegraphic despatches, arrived in town perhaps three to four 
days after their publication. I may add, in fact, that it was 
not until about the beginning of the eighties that Los Angeles 
dailies could afford the luxury of regular direct telegrams. 

In other respects as well, editing a local newspaper during 
the War was apt to entail financial loss. The Los Angeles 

3o6 Sixty Years in Southern California [1861 

News, for instance, was outspoken for the Union and so escaped 
the temporary eclipse suffered by the Star through Government 
censorship; but the Unionists being in a decided minority in 
the community, pickings for the News were mighty poor. 
Perhaps this want of patronage suggested the advisabihty, in 
1863 (when that paper was pubHshed by C. R. Conway and 
Alonzo Waite, on Main Street, opposite the express office), 
of reducing the subscription rate to five dollars a year. 

Probably one of the most interesting visits to Los Angeles 
ever made by a well-known personage was the sudden call 
with which Lady Franklin, the wife of the eminent, lost 
Arctic explorer, honored our little town far back in 1861. The 
distinguished lady, accompanied by Mrs. Cracroft, her niece, 
Commodore and Madame Watkins and Collector and Mrs. 
Rankin, arrived at San Pedro on the Golden State during the first 
week in November and was driven, with her companions, to the 
Bella Union hotel, from which she made such short excursions 
about the city as were then possible; and as sympathy for her 
in her sorrow, and admiration for her long years of plucky 
though vain search for her husband were still general, every 
courtesy possible was afforded her. During Lady Franklin's 
stay Benjamin D. Wilson arranged a delightful garden party 
at his hospitable mansion at Lake Vineyard in her ladyship's 
honor, and Phineas Banning also entertained her with a re- 
ception and collation at his San Pedro home ; and these recep- 
tions and collations were as enjoyable as they were notable. 
After a day or two, Lady Franklin and her party left on the 
Senator for San Francisco, being accorded, as the vessel 
weighed anchor, a marked ovation. 

For many years funerals were attended by men on horseback 
and by women on foot, as hacks were unknown in early days; 
and while the good citizens were doubtless then conducted to 
their last resting-place in a manner just as satisfactory to them- 
selves as are their descendants who are buried according to 
present-day customs, those who followed in the train were very 
seriously inconvenienced by the melancholy, dusty processions 
to the old and now-forgotten burial-grounds ; for in those days 

i86i] Hancock — Lady Franklin — The Deluge 307 

the trip, in summer exceedingly hot and in winter through rain 
and mud, was a long, fatiguing one. 

Speaking of funerals, a strange sight was witnessed in 
our streets about the end of November, 1861, attending the 
burial of a child. The father and mother, both native Califor- 
nians, were seated in a wagon, in which was also placed the 
strikingly plain little coffin or box containing the dead. Be- 
side the wagon walked an old man, playing a fiddle. Two or 
three persons followed in the deep mud; the whole forming 
a weird picture, said to be the relic of an almost obsolete 
back-woods custom. 

Banning & Hinchman's Comet proving insufficient, the 
Gondolier was put on in the fall of 1861 and became a familiar 
craft in the conveying of passengers and freight between New 
San Pedro and the ships lying off the harbor. 

Two years previous to the completion of the telegraph from 
San Francisco to Los Angeles — that is, in 1858 — the first 
continental telegraph was undertaken; and by October, 1861, 
Governor Downey of California sent a congratulatory message 
to President Lincoln. On November 7th, the line was open to the 
public. Several months before, all the companies in the State 
had consolidated into the California State Telegraph Company. 
Banning & Hinchman having succeeded, for a short season, 
Phineas Banning, the sub-contractor for the building of the 
first telegraph, they made an effort, following the establishment 
of communication between the Atlantic and the Pacific, to 
secure a line to New San Pedro; and at the end of October, i86t, 
the first telegraph pole in the long row from Los Angeles to the 
harbor was formally set. About the middle of November, this 
line was completed; and though it was widely proclaimed as 
"working like a charm," the apparatus soon got out of order 
and by the following January there were many complaints 
that both poles and wire had fallen to the ground, blocking the 
thoroughfares and entangling animals in such a way as to 
become a nuisance. Indeed, there was soon a public demand 
either to repair the telegraph or to remove it altogether and 
throw the equipment away. Soon after the first of February, 

3o8 Sixty Years in Southern California [1861 

1862, the line was working again ; but by that time the telegraph 
to San Francisco had gotten out of order! And so great were 
the difficulties in repairing that line, that Los Angeles was not 
again talking uninterruptedly over the wire with its neighbor 
until July. 

On November 15th, the first number of El Ami go del 
Pueblo, printed in Spanish, appeared from the shop of Jose 
E. Gonzales & Company; but native support being withheld, 
"The Friend of the People" starved to death in the following 

Whaling, like shark-hunting, continued brisk in 1861 and 
1862, and many vessels were fitted out at San Pedro; Los 
Angeles merchants selling them most of their supplies. The 
sea-monsters usually moved up the coast about the first of the 
year, the males keeping in toward the shore going up, and 
the females hugging the coast, coming down; and small boats 
such as Captain W. Clark's Ocean, used to take from four 
hundred and fifty to five hundred barrels of oil in five or six 
weeks. For six days, in March, 1862, San Pedro whalers 
harpooned a whale a day, bringing to the landing over two 
hundred barrels of oil as a result of the week's labor. 

The bitter fight between Abolitionists and Southern sym- 
pathizers was immediately reflected in the public schools. 
Defenders of the Union worked for a formal oath of allegiance 
to the National Government, as a preliminary to granting 
teachers' certificates; while the Confederates, incensed at what 
they deemed a violation of personal rights, assailed the institu- 
tions. The result was that attendance at the public schools 
gradually fell off until, in the winter of 1865-66, only about three 
hundred and fifty children of school age were being instructed 
by public teachers ; another third of a thousand was in private 
schools, while some three hundred and sixty-nine were not on 
any roster. 

The gloom naturally caused by the outbreak of war was 
sometimes penetrated by the brightness of social life, and 
among the happier occasions of the winter of 1861 was the 
marriage, on December 23d, in the presence of a large circle 

i86i] Hancock — Lady Franklin — The Deluge 309 

of friends, of Tom D. Mott to Ascencion, daughter of Don Jos6 
Andres and Dona Francisca Abila Sepulveda. 

The winter of 1861-62 recorded the greatest of all floods, 
especially in the North where, in December and January, some- 
thing like thirty-five inches of rain was precipitated. In Los 
Angeles County the rivers soon rose and overflowed the low- 
lands ; but the rise was gradual, causing the loss of but few or no 
lives and permitting the stock to reach the neighboring hills 
in safety. In Anaheim the water was four feet deep in the 
streets and people had to seek flight to the uplands or retreat 
to the roofs of their little houses. Vineyards were sometimes 
half-ruined with the layers of deep sand ; banks of streams were 
lined for miles with driftwood ; and ranchers saw many a clod of 
their farms carried off and deposited to enrich their neighbors, 
miles away. For a month it rained so steadily that the sun 
peeped out for scarcely an hour. 

I witnessed this inundation in Los Angeles, where much 
damage was done to business buildings, especially to Mellus's 
Row, and saw merchants in water up to their waists, trying 
to save their goods. The wall of the room occupied by Sam 
Meyer fell first, whereupon Hellman & Brother became in- 
tensely interested in the removal of their stock, while poor Sam, 
knee-deep in water, sadly contemplated his losses. Before the 
Hellmans had made much headway, they observed a tendency 
on the part of their walls to crumble, and their exit was neither 
graceful nor delayed. After that the store occupied by Meyer 
& Breslauer caved in, smashing show cases and shelves, and 
ruining a large amount of merchandise. The ludicrous picture 
of this rush for "safety first " is not a fit reflection of the feelings 
of those pioneers who saw the results of years of labor obliterated 
in a moment. Friends and neighbors lent assistance to the 
unfortunate, and helped to save what they could. After this 
flood, Hellman & Brother and Sam Meyer removed to the 
Arcadia Block, while IVlcycr & Breslauer secured accommoda- 
tions north of the Plaza Church. 


I 862- I 863 

ON the first of January, 1862, after an experience of 
about five years, I retired from the selling of clothing, 
which was never congenial to me; and as I had been 
buying hides and wool on a small scale since the middle of the 
fifties, I forthwith devoted myself to the commission business. 
Frenchmen from the Basque country, among whom were Mi- 
guel Leonis, Gaston Oxarart, Domingo Amestoy and Domingo 
Bastanchury, had commenced to appear here in 1858 and 
to raise sheep; so that in 1859 large flocks were brought into 
Southern California, the sheep commanding a price of three 
dollars and a half per head. My own operations, exceedingly 
small in the beginning, increased in importance, and by 1862 
I was fairly equipped for this venture. Corn, barley and 
wheat were also then being raised, and I busied myself with 
these commodities as well. 

Most of the early sheepmen prospered and in time bought 
large tracts of land for their flocks, and with all of them I 
had dealings of more or less importance. Amestoy's career is 
worthy of particular mention as exemplifying the three cardinal 
virtues of business: honesty, application and frugality. He 
and his wife took in washing; and while the husband went 
from house to house, leading a horse with a large basket 
strapped to either side, to collect and deliver the clothes, the 
wife toiled at the tub. In the end, what they together had 


Eugene Meyer 

Jacob A. Moerenhout 

Frank Lecouvreur 

Thomas D. Mott 


Leonard J. Rose 

H. K. S. O'Melveny 

Remi Nadeau 

John M. Griffith 

[1862-1863] Droughts — Ada Hancock Disaster 311 

saved became the foundation of their important investments 
in sheep and land. Pedro Larronde, another early sheepman, 
married the widow of his Basque fellow-countryman, Etche- 
mendy, the tippling baker. 

Having regularly established a commission business, I 
brought consignments of varied merchandise from San Fran- 
cisco on the semi-monthly steamer Goliah, whose Captain at 
one time was Robert Haley, and at another his brother 
Salisbury Haley, a brother-in-law of Tom Mott ; and I disposed 
of them to small dealers with whom I thus became pretty well 
acquainted. These consignments were sold almost as soon 
as they arrived. I was careful to bring in only staple articles 
in the grocery line, and it was long before I appreciated the 
advantage of carrying sufficient stock to supply a regular 
demand. On the return trips of the steamer to San Francisco 
I forwarded such produce as I had accumulated. 

I do not recall any important changes in 1862, the declin- 
ing months of which saw the beginning of the two years' 
devastating drought. The Civil War was in progress, but we 
were so far from the scene of strife that we were not materially 
affected. Sympathy was very general here for the Confederate 
cause, and the Government therefore retained in Wilmington 
both troops and clerks who were paid in a badly-depreciated 
currency, which they were obliged to discount at exorbitant 
rates, to get money at all; while other employees had to accept 
vouchers which were subject to a still greater discount. Not- 
withstanding these difficulties, however, pay-day increased the 
resources of the pueblo considerably. 

Hellman & Brother, a partnership consisting of I. M. and 
Samuel Hellman, dissolved, on January 2d, I. M. continuing 
in the dry goods business while Sam took the books and sta- 
tionery. Another brother and associate, H. M. Hellman, a 
couple of years before had returned to Europe, where he died. 
If my memory is accurate, I. W. remained with I. M. Hellman 
until the former, in 1865, bought out A. Portugal. Samuel A. 
Widney, who later had a curio store, was for a while with Sam 
Hellman in a partnership known as Hellman & Widney. 

312 Sixty Years in Southern California [1862- 

On January 17th, Don Louis Vignes passed away in Los 
Angeles, at the age of ninety-one years. 

January also witnessed one of those typical scenes, in the 
fitting out of a mule- and wagon-train, never likely to be seen 
in Los Angeles again. Two hundred wagons and twelve 
hundred mules, mostly brought from San Francisco on 
steamers, were assembled for a trip across the desert to convey 
Government stores. 

M. J. Newmark became a partner, on February ist, in the 
firm of Howard, Butterworth & Newmark, Federal and State 
Attorneys with offices in the Temple Building, Los Angeles, 
and Armory Hall, San Francisco; and it was considered at the 
time a rapid advance for a man of but twenty-three 3'ears of 
age. The Los Angeles Star of that date, in fact, added a word 
of good fellowship: "We congratulate friend Newmark on the 

The intimate relations characteristic of a small community 
such as ours, and the much more general effect then than nowa- 
days of any tragical occurrence have already been described. 
Deep sympathy was therefore awakened, early in February, on 
the arrival of the steamer Senator and the rapid dissemination 
of the report that Dr. Thomas Foster, the ex-Mayor, had been 
lost overboard, on January 29th, on the boat's trip northward. 
Just what happened to Foster will never be known; in San 
Francisco it was reported that he had thrown himself into the 
sea, though others who knew him well looked upon the cause of 
his death as accidental. 

But slight attention was paid to the report, brought in by 
horsemen from San Bernardino on February 4th, that an earth- 
quake had occurred there in the morning, until Captain Tom 
Seeley returned with the Senator to San Pedro and told about 
a seismic disturbance at sea, during which he struck the wildest 
storm off Point Concepcion, in all his sea-faring experience. 
Sailors were then better all-round seamen than now; yet 
there was greater superstition in Jack Tar's mind, and such 
a storm made a deep impression upon his imagination. 

I have alluded to the dependence of Los Angeles on the 

1863] Droughts — Ada Hancock Disaster 313 

outside world, no better evidence of which, perhaps, can be 
cited than that on the twenty-second of February George W. 
Chapin & Company of San Francisco advertised here to fur- 
nish servants and other help to anyone in the Southland. 
About the same time, San Bernardino parties, wishing to bore 
a little artesian well, had to send to the Northern metropolis for 
the necessary machinery. 

In October, i860, as I have intimated, Phineas Banning took 
A. F. Hinchman into partnership, the firm being known as 
Banning & Hinchman, and they seemed to prosper; but on 
February 12th, 1862, the public was surprised at the announce- 
ment of the firm's dissolution. Banning continued as pro- 
prietor, and Hinchman became Banning's Los Angeles agent. 

Although cattle-raising was the mainstay of Southern 
California for many years, and gold-mining never played a 
very important part here. Wells Fargo & Co., during the 
spring, frequently shipped thousands of dollars' worth of gold 
at a time, gathered from Santa Anita, San Gabriel and San 
Fernando placers, while probably an equally large amount was 
forwarded out through other channels. 

I have already pointed to the clever foresight shown by Abel 
Stearns when he built the Arcadia Block and profited by the 
unhappy experience of others, with rain that flooded their 
property; but I have not stated that in elevating his new 
building considerably above the grade of the street, somewhat 
regardless of the rights of others, he caused the surplus water 
to run off into neighboring streets and buildings. Following 
the great storm of 1861-62, the City sued Stearns for damages, 
but he won his case. More than that, the overflow was a God- 
send to him, for it induced a number of people to move from 
Mellus's Row to Arcadia Block at a time when the owner of vast 
ranches and some of the best town property was already feeling 
the pinch of the alternate dry and over-wet seasons. The fact 
is, as I shall soon make clear, that before Stearns had seen the 
end of two or three successive dry seasons yet to come, he was 
temporarily bankrupt and embarrassed to the utmost. 

By April, the walls and roof for the little Protestant Church 

314 Sixty Years in Southern California [1862- 

at Temple and New High streets had been built, and there the 
matter rested for two years, when the structure, on which the 
taxes were unpaid, was advertised for sale. 

We have seen that the first Jewish services here were held 
soon after the arrival of Joseph Newmark in 1854; under 
the same disadvantageous conditions as had hampered the 
Protestant denominations, Mr. Newmark volunteered to offici- 
ate on the principal holidays until 1862, when the Reverend 
Abraham Wolf Edelman arrived. Born at Warsaw in 1832, 
Rabbi Edelman came to America in 1851, immediately after he 
was married to Aliss Hannah Pessah Cohn, and settled suc- 
cessively in New York, Paterson and Buffalo. Coming to 
California in 1859, he resided in San Francisco until 1862, when 
he was chosen Rabbi of the orthodox Congregation B'nai B'rith 
of Los Angeles, and soon attained distinction as a Talmudic 
scholar and a preacher. The first services under Rabbi Edel- 
man were held in Stearns's, or Arcadia Hall; next, the Congrega- 
tion worshipped in Leek's Hall on Main Street between Second 
and Third; and finally, through the courtesy of Judge Ygnacio 
Sepulveda, the court room was used. In 1873 the Jews of 
Los Angeles erected their first synagogue, a brick building 
entered by a steep stairway leading to a platform, and located 
on the east side of Fort Street between Second and Third, on 
what is now the site of the Copp Building next to the City 
Hall. In 1886, when local Jewry instituted a much more 
liberal ritual. Rabbi Edelman's convictions induced him to re- 
sign. The purchase of a lot for a home on the corner of Sixth 
and Main streets proved a fortunate investment, later enabling 
him to enjoy a well-deserved comfort and to gratify his chari- 
table inclinations. It is a strange coincidence that Reverend 
Edelman's first marriage ceremony was that which blessed 
Samuel Prager ; while the last occasion on which he performed 
the solemn rites for the dead — shortly before his own death in 
1907 — was for the same friend. A. M. Edelman, the architect, 
and Dr. D. W. Edelman, both well-known here, are sons of 
the Rabbi. 

As late in the season as April, hail and snow fell in and near 

1863] Droughts — Ada Hancock Disaster 315 

Los Angeles. To the North of the city, the white mantle quite 
hid the mountains and formed a new and lower snow-line; 
while within the city, the temperature so lowered that at several 
intervals during the day, huge hail-stones beat against the 
window-panes — a very unusual experience for Angelenos. 

Because of political charges preferred against A. J. King, 
then Under Sheriff of the County, the latter, on April loth, was 
arrested by Henry D. Barrows, United States Marshal, who 
had been appointed by President Lincoln, the year previous. 
Colonel Carleton, Commander of the Southern Military Di- 
vision, however, soon liberated King. On the last day of the 
year, the Under Sheriff married the estimable Miss Laura C. 

Travelers to Europe have often suffered much annoyance 
through safe-conduct regulations, but seldom have Americans 
had their liberty thus restricted by their own authorities. 
Toward the middle of June, word was received in Los Angeles 
that, owing to the suspicion lest disloyalists were embarking 
for Aspinwall, all passengers for California via the Isthmus 
would be required to take out passports. 

Anticipating, by forty years or more, Luther Burbank's 
work, attention was directed, as early as 1862, to the possibility 
of eating the cactus and thus finding, in this half -despised plant 
of the desert, relief from both hunger and thirst. Half a 
century later, in 191 3, Los Angeles established the cactus candy 
industry through which the boiled pulp of the hisnaga, often 
spoken of as the fishhook, barrel and nigger-head variety, is 
made deliciously palatable when siruped from ten to thirty 

Ygnacio Sepulveda, declared by the Los Angeles Star "a 
young gentleman of liberal education, and good, natural endow- 
ments, already versed in legal studies," on September 6th 
was admitted to the District Coiirt Bar. 

On January i8th, i860, the first number of the Semi-Weekly 
Southern News appeared, containing advertisements in both 
English and Spanish. It was issued by C. R. Conway and 
Alonzo Waite, who charged twenty-five cents a copy, or seven 

3i6 Sixty Years in Southern California [1862- 

dollars a year. On October 8th, 1862, the title was changed 
to the Los Angeles Semi-Weekly News. 

In i860, the Bella Union, as I have said, was under the 
management of John King, who came here in 1856; while in 
1861 J. B. Winston & Company, who were represented by 
Henry Reed, controlled the hotel. In 1862 or 1863, John King 
and Henry Hammel were the managers. 

I have told of the purchase of the San Pasqual rancho by 
Dr. J. S. Griffin. On December nth, Dr. and Mrs. Griffin 
for five hundred dollars sold to B. D. Wilson and wife some 
six hundred and forty acres of that property; and a few hours 
afterward the Wilsons disposed of two hundred and sixty-two 
acres for one thousand dollars. The purchaser was Mrs. 
Eliza G. Johnston, wife of General Albert Sidney Johnston. 
Mrs. Johnston at once built a neat residence on the tract and 
called it Fair Oaks, after the plantation in Virginia on which 
she had been born ; and from this circumstance the name of the 
now well-known Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena is derived. At 
the time of her purchase Mrs. Johnston had hoped to reside 
there permanently; but the tragic fate of her son in the Ada 
Hancock disaster, following the untimely death of her husband 
at Shiloh, and the apparent uselessness of the land, led her to 
sell to Judge B. S. Eaton what to-day would be worth far more 
than thousands of acres in many parts of the Southern States. 
A curious coincidence in the relations of General Sumner, 
who superseded General Johnston, to the hero of Shiloh is 
that, later in the War, Sumner led a corps of Union troops at 
Fair Oaks, Virginia! 

Don Ygnacio Coronel, father of Antonio Franco Coronel, 
and the early school patron to whom I have referred, died in 
Los Angeles on December 19th, aged seventy years. He had 
come to California in 1834, ^^"^ had long been eminent in po- 
litical councils and social circles. I recall him as a man of 
strong intellect and sterling character, kind-hearted and 

Another effort, without success, to use camels for trans- 
portation over the California and adjacent sands, was made in 

1863] Droughts — Ada Hancock Disaster 317 

January, 1863, when a camel express was sent out from New 
San Pedro to Tucson. 

Elsewhere I have indicated the condition of the public 
cemetery. While an adobe wall enclosed the Roman Catholic 
burial-place, and a brick wall surrounded the Jewish resting- 
place for the dead, nothing was done until 1863 to improve the 
Protestant cemetery, although desecration went so far that 
the little railing around the grave of poor Mrs. Leek, the grocer's 
wife who had been murdered, was torn down and burned. 
Finally, the matter cried to Heaven so audibly that in Janu- 
ary Los Angeles Masons appropriated one hundred and fifty 
dollars, to be added to some five hundred dollars raised by popu- 
lar subscription; and the Common Council having appointed a 
committee to supervise the work, William H. Perry put up 
the fence, making no charge for his services. 

About the middle of January word was received in Los 
Angeles of the death, at Baltimore, of Colonel B. L. Beall, 
commander for years of the Fort Tejon garrison, and active in 
the Mojave and Kern River campaigns. 

Death entered our home for the first time, when an infant 
daughter, less than a month old, died this year on February 

In February, the editor of the News advised the experi- 
ment of growing cotton as an additional activity for the Colorado 
Indians, who were already cultivating. corn, beans and melons. 
Whether this suggestion led William Workman into cotton 
culture, I do not know; at any rate, late in November of the 
same year F. P. F. Temple was exhibiting about town some 
well-matured bolls of cotton raised on Workman's ranch, and 
the next spring saw in El Monte a number of fields planted 
with cotton seed. A year later, J. Moerenhout sent Los Angeles 
cotton to an exhibition in France, and received from across 
the water official assurance that the French judges regarded our 
product as quite equal to that grown in the Southern States. 
This gave a slight impetus to cotton-culture here and by 
January, 1865, a number of immigrants had arrived, looking 
for suitable land for the production of this staple. They soon 

31 8 Sixty Years in Southern California [1862- 

went to work, and in August of that year many fields gave 
promise of good crops, far exceeding the expectations of the 

In the month of Jvlarch a lively agitation on behalf of a 
railroad began in the public press, and some bitter things 
were said against those who, for the sake of a little trade in 
horses or draying, were opposed to such a forward step; and 
imder the leadership of E. J. C. Kewen and J. A. "Watson, our 
Assemblymen at that session, the Legislature of 1863 passed an 
act authorizing the construction of the Los Angeles & San 
Pedro Railroad. A public meeting was called to discuss the 
details and to further the project; but once more no railroad 
was built or even begun. Strange as it seems, the idea of a 
railroad for Los Angeles County in 1863 was much too advanced 
for the times. 

Billed as one who had "had the honor of appearing before 
King William IV. and all the principal crowned heads of 
Europe," Professor Courtier held forth with an exhibition of 
magic in the Temple Theatre; drawing the usual crowd of — 
royalty-haters ! 

In 1863, Santa Catalina was the scene of a gold-mining 
boom which soon came to naught, and through an odd enough 
occurrence. About April, Ivlartin M. Kimberly and Daniel 
E. Way staked out a claim or two, and some miners agreed on 
a code of laws for operations in what was to be known as the 
San Pedro Mining District, the boundaries of which were 
to include all the islands of the County. Extensive claims, 
chiefly in Cherry and Joly valleys and on Mineral Hill, were 
recorded, and streets were laid out for a town to be known 
as Queen City; but just as the boom seemed likeh' to mature, 
the National Government stepped in and gave a quietus to 
the whole affair. With or without foundation, reports had 
reached the Federal authorities that the movement was but 
a cloak to establish there well-fortified Confederate headquar- 
ters for the fitting out and repair of privateers intended to prey 
upon the coast-wise traders; and on February 5th, 1864, Cap- 
tain B. R. West, commanding the Fourth California Infantry, 

1863J Droughts — Ada Hancock Disaster 319 

ordered practically all of the miners and prospectors to leave 
the island at once. The following September the National 
troops were withdrawn, and after the War the Federal author- 
ities retained control of a point on the island deemed service- 
able for lighthouse purposes. 

In the spring of 1863, feeling ill, I went to San Fran- 
cisco to consult Dr. Toland, who assured me that there was 
nothing serious the matter with me; but wishing to sat- 
isfy myself more thoroughly, I resorted to the same means 
that I dare say many others have adopted — a medical ex- 
amination for life insurance! Bemhard Gattel, general agent 
of the Germania Life Insurance Company, at 315 Mont- 
gomery Street, wrote out my application; and on March 20th, 
a policy, numbered 1472, was issued, making me, since the fall 
of 1913, the oldest living policy-holder iij the Southwest, and 
the twentieth oldest of the Germania's patrons in the world. 

Californians, during that period of the War when the North 
was suffering a series of defeats, had little use for greenbacks. 
At one time, a dollar in currency was worth but thirty-five 
cents, though early in April it was accepted at sixty-five, 
late in August at ninety, and about the first of October at 
seventy-five cents; even interest-bearing gold notes being worth 
no more. This condition of the money market saw little change 
until some time in the seventies ; and throughout the War green- 
backs were handled like any other commodity. Frank Lecou- 
vreur, in one of these periods, after getting judgment in a suit 
against Deputy Surveyor William Moore, for civil engineering 
services, and being paid some three hundred and eighty-three 
dollars in greenbacks, was disconcerted enough when he found 
that his currency would command but one hundred and eighty 
dollars in gold. San Francisco merchants realized fortunes 
when a decline occurred, as they bought their merchandise in 
the East for greenbacks and sold it on the Coast for gold. Los 
Angeles people, on the other hand, enjoyed no such benefit, as 
they brought their wares from San Francisco and were there- 
fore obliged to liquidate in specie. 

Among the worst tragedies in the early annals of Los Angeles, 

320 sixty Years in Southern California [1862- 

and by far the most dramatic, was the disaster on April 27th 
to the Httle steamer Ada Hancock. While on a second trip, 
in the harbor of San Pedro, to transfer to the Senator the 
remainder of the passengers bound for the North, the vessel 
careened, admitting cold water to the engine-room and explod- 
ing the boiler with such force that the boat was demolished 
to the water's edge ; fragments being found on an island even 
half to tliree-quarters of a mile away. Such was the intensity of 
the blast and the area of the devastation that, of the fifty-three 
or more passengers known to have been on board, twenty-six at 
least perished. Fortunate indeed were those, including Phineas 
Banning, the owner, who survived with minor injuries, after 
being hurled many feet into the air. Among the dead were 
Thomas W. Seeley, Captain of the Senator; Joseph Bryant, 
Captain of the Ada Hancock; Dr. H. R. IM^des, the druggist, 
who had been in partnership, opposite the Bella Union, with 
Dr. J. C. Welch, an arrival of the early fifties who died in 
1869; Thomas H. Workman, Banning's chief clerk; Albert 
Sidney Johnston, Jr.; William T. B. Sanford, once Post- 
master; Louis Schlesinger and William Ritchie, Wells 
Fargo's messenger, to whom was entrusted ten thousand dollars, 
which, as far as my memory goes, "was lost. Two Mormon 
missionaries, en route to the Sandwich Islands, were also 
killed. Still another, who lost not only his treasure but his 
life, was Fred E. Kerlin of Fort Tejon: thirty thousand dol- 
lars which he carried with him, in greenbacks, disappeared 
as mysteriously as did the jewelry on the persons of others, 
and from these circumstances it was concluded that, even 
in the presence of Death, these bodies had been speedily 
robbed. Mrs. Banning and her mother, Mrs. Sanford, and a 
daughter of B. D. Wilson were among the wounded; while Miss 
M. Hereford, Mrs. Wilson's sister and the fiancee of Dr. Myles, 
was so severely injured that, after long suffering, she also died. 
Although the accident had happened about five o'clock in the 
afternoon, the awful news, casting a general and indescrib- 
able gloom, was not received in town until nearly eight o'clock; 
when Drs. Griffin and R. T. Hayes, together with an Army sur- 

1863] Droughts — Ada Hancock Disaster 321 

geon named Todd, hastened in carriages to the harbor where 
soldiers from Camp Drum had already asserted their authority. 
Many of the victims were buried near the beach at New 
San Pedro. While I was calling upon Mrs. Johnston to express 
my sympathy, the body of her son was brought in ; and words 
cannot describe the pathos of the scene when she addressed 
the departed as if he were but asleep. 

In June the Government demanded a formal profession 
of loyalty from teachers, when Miss Mary Hoyt and Miss 
Eliza Madigan took the oath, but Mrs. Thomas Foster and 
William McKee refused to do so. The incident provoked bitter 
criticism, and nothing being done to punish the recalcitrants, 
the Los Angeles Board of Education was charged with indif- 
ference as to the allegiance of its public servants. 

During 1863 sectional feeling had grown so bitter on 
account of the War that no attempt was made to celebrate 
the Fourth of July in town. At Fort Latham, however, on the 
Ballona Ranch, the soldiers observed the day with an appropri- 
ate demonstration. By the end of July, troops had been sent 
from Drum Barracks to camp in the city — for the protection, 
so it was asserted, of Union men whose lives were said to be in 
danger, although some people claimed that this movement was 
rather for the purpose of intimidating certain leaders with 
known sympathy for the South. This military display gave 
Northerners more backbone; and on the twenty-sixth of 
September a Union mass-meeting was held on Main Street in 
front of the Lafayette Hotel. 

Eldridge Edwards Hewitt, a Mexican War veteran who 
came to California in 1849 to search for gold, arrived in Los 
Angeles on July 31st and soon went on a wild-goose chase to 
the Weaver Diggings in Arizona, actually tramping with lug- 
gage over five hundred miles of the way ! After his return, he 
did odd jobs for his board, working in a stationery and toy 
store on Main Street, kept by the Goldwater Brothers, Joe and 
Mike, who had arrived in the early sixties; and later he entered 
the employ of Phineas Banning at Wilmington, with whom he 
remained until the completion of the Los Angeles & San Pedro 

322 Sixty Years in Southern California [1862- 

Railroad in 1870, when he became its Superintendent. When 
the Southern Pacific obtained control of that road in 1873, 
Hewitt was made Agent, and after the extension of the line 
from San Francisco he was appointed Division Superintendent. 
In that capacity he brought Senator Leland Stanford to me, as 
I shall elsewhere relate, to solicit H. Newmark and Company's 

It was in 1863 that Dr. J. S. Griffin, father of East Los 
Angeles, purchased two thousand acres in that section, at fifty 
cents an acre; but even at that price he was only induced to 
buy it by necessity. Griffin wanted sheep-pasture, and had 
sought to secure some eight hundred acres of City land along the 
river; but as this would prevent other cattle or sheep from 
approaching the water to drink, the Common Council refused 
Griffin's bid on the smaller area of land and he was com- 
pelled to buy the mesa farther back. It seems to me that B. 
D. Wilson, J. G. Downey and Hancock M. Johnston, General 
Johnston's son, also had something to do with this transaction. 
Both Downey and Griffin avenues derived their names from 
the association of these two gentlemen with that section. 

A smallpox epidemic which had started in the previous 
fall spread through Los Angeles in 1863, and owing possibly 
to the bad sanitary and climatic conditions much vigilance 
and time were required to eradicate it ; compulsory vaccination 
not having been introduced (as it finally was at the suggestion 
of Dr. Walter Lindley) until the summer of 1876. The dread 
disease worked its ravages especially among the Mexicans and 
Indians, as many as a dozen of them dying in a single day ; and 
these siifferers and their associates being under no quarantine, 
and even bathing ad libitum in the zanjas, the pest spread alarm- 
ingly. For a time fatalities were so frequent and the nature of 
the contagion so feared that it was difficult to persuade under- 
takers to bury the dead, even without funeral or other ceremony. 

Following the opening of the Owens River Mines this year, 
Los Angeles merchants soon established a considerable trade 
with that territory. Banning inaugurated a system of wagon- 
trains, each guarded by a detachment of soldiers. The San 

1863] Droughts — Ada Hancock Disaster 323 

Fernando mountains, impassable for heavy teaming, were 
an obstacle to regular trade with the new country and com- 
pelled the use of a circuitous route over poor roads. It became 
necessary, therefore, to consider a means of overcoming the 
difficulty, much money having already been spent by the 
County in an abortive attempt to build a tunnel. This second 
plan likewise came to naught, and it was in fact more than 
a decade before the Southern Pacific finally completed the 
famous bore. 

Largely because of political mistakes, including a mani- 
festation of sympathy for the Southern Confederacy that drew 
against him Northern resentment and opposition, John G. 
Downey, the Democratic nominee for Governor, was defeated 
at the election in September ; Frederick F. Low, a Republican, 
receiving a majority of over twenty thousand votes. 

In October, a peddler named Brun was murdered near 
Chino. Brun's brother, living at San Bernardino and sub- 
sequently a merchant of prominence there, offered two hundred 
dollars of his slender savings as a reward for the capture of 
the slayer; but nothing ever came of the search. 

In November the stern necessities of war were at last driven 
home to Angelefios when, on the ninth of that somber month, 
Don Juan Warner, Deputy Provost Marshal, appeared with his 
big blank books and began to superintend the registering of all 
able-bodied citizens suitable for military service. To many, 
the inquisition was not very welcome and, had it not been 
for the Union soldiers encamped at Drum Barracks, this first 
step toward compulsory enrollment would undoubtedly have 
resulted in riotous disturbances. 

I have frequently named Tom Mott, but I may not have 
said that he was one of the representative local Democratic 
politicians of his day. He possessed, indeed, such influence 
with all classes that he was not only elected Clerk of Los Angeles 
County in 1863, but succeeded himself in 1865, 1867 and 1869, 
afterward sitting in the State Assembly; and in 1876, he was 
appointed a delegate to the National Convention that nomi- 
nated Samuel J. Tilden for the Presidency. His relations in 

324 Sixty Years in Southern California [1862- 

time with Stanford, Crocker, Huntington and Hopkins were 
very close, and for at least twenty-five years he acted as their 
political adviser in all matters appertaining to Southern Cali- 
fornia. Tall, erect and dignified, scrupulously attired and 
distinguished by his flowing beard, Tom was for more than half 
a century a striking figure in Los Angeles. 

A most brutal murder took place on November 15th on 
the desert not far from Los Angeles, but few days passing before 
it was avenged. A poor miner, named R. A. Hester, was 
fatally attacked by a border ruffian known as Boston Daim- 
wood, while some confederates, including the criminals Chase, 
Ybarra and Olivas, stood by to prevent interference. In a 
few hours officers and citizens were in the saddle in pursuit of 
the murderous band; for Daimwood had boasted that Hester 
was but the first of several of our citizens to whom he intended 
to pay his respects. Daimwood and his three companions 
were captured and lodged in jail, and on the twenty-first of 
November two hundred or more armed Vigilantes forced the 
jail doors, seized the scoundrels and hung them to the portico 
of the old City Hall on Spring Street. Tomas Sanchez, the 
Sheriff, talked of organizing a posse comitatus to arrest the 
committee leaders; but so positive was public sentiment, as 
reflected in the newspapers, in support of the summary execu- 
tions, that nothing further was heard of the threat. 

An incident of value in the study of mob-psychology 
accentuated the day's events. During the lynching, the clatter- 
ing of horses' hoofs was heard, when the cry was raised that 
cavalry from Drum Barracks was rushing to rescue the pris- 
oners; and in a twinkling those but a moment before most 
demonstrative were seen scurrying to cover in all directions. 
Instead, however, of Federal soldiers, the horsemen were the 
usual contingent of El Monte boys, coming to assist in the 
neck-tie party. 

Besides the murderers lynched, there was an American boy 
named Wood of about eighteen years; and although he had com- 
mitted no offense more vicious than the theft of some chickens, 
he paid the penalty with his life, it having been the verdict of 

1863] Droughts — Ada Hancock Disaster 325 

the committee that while they were at it, the jail might as well 
be cleared of every malefactor. A large empty case was secured 
as a platform on which the victim was to stand; and I shall 
never forget the spectacle of the youth, apparently oblivious 
of his impending doom, as he placed his hands upon the box 
and vaulted lightly to the top (just as he might have done at an 
innocent gymnastic contest), and his parting salutation, "I'm 
going to die a game hen-chicken V The removal of the case a 
moment later, after the noose had been thrown over and drawn 
about the lad's head, left the poor victim suspended beyond 
human aid. 

On that same day, a sixth prisoner barely escaped. When 
the crowd was debating the lynchings, John P. Lee, a resident 
of El Monte who had been convicted of murder, was already 
under sentence of death; and the Vigilantes, having duly 
considered his case, decided that it would be just as well to per- 
mit the law to take its course. Some time later, J. Lancaster 
Brent, Lee's attorney, appealed the case and obtained for his 
client a new trial, finally clearing Lee of the charges against 
him, so that, in the end, he died a natural death. 

I frequently saw Lee after this episode, and vividly recall 
an unpleasant interview years later. The regularity of his 
visits had been interrupted, and when he reappeared to get 
some merchandise for a customer at El Monte, I asked him 
where he had been. He explained that a dog had bitten a 
little girl, and that while she was suffering from hydrophobia 
she had in turn attacked him and so severely scratched his 
hands and face that, for a while, he could not show himself in 
public. After that, whenever I saw Lee, I was aware of a lurk- 
ing, if ridiculous, suspicion that the moment might have arrived 
for a new manifestation of the rabies. 

Speaking of the Civil War and the fact that in Southern 
California there was less pronounced sentiment for the Union 
than in the Northern part of the State, I am reminded of a 
relief movement that emphasized the distinction. By the 
middle of November San Francisco had sent over one hundred 
and thirty thousand dollars to the United States Sanitary 

326 Sixty Years in Southern California [1862- 

Commission, and an indignant protest was voiced in some 
quarters that Los Angeles, up to that date, had not partici- 
pated. In time, however, the friends of the Union here did 
make up a small purse. 

In 1863 interest in the old San Juan Capistrano Mission 
was revived with the reopening of the historic structure so 
badly damaged by the earthquake of 1812, and a considerable 
number of townspeople went out to the first services under the 
new roof. When I first saw the Mission, near Don Juan 
Forster's home, there was in its open doors, windows and cut- 
stone and stucco ruins, its vines and wild flowers, much of 
the picturesque. 

On November iSth, 1862, our little community was greatly 
stirred by the news that John Rains, one of Colonel Isaac 
Williams' sons-in-law and well known in Los Angeles, had 
been waylaid and killed on the highway near the Azusa ranclio 
the night before. It was claimed that one Ramon Carrillo 
had hired the assassins to do the foul deed; and about the 
middle of February, 1863, a Mexican by the name of Alanuel 
Cerradel was arrested by Thomas Trafford, the City Marshal, 
as a participant. In time, he was tried and sentenced to ten 
years in San Quentin Prison. On December 9th, Sheriff Tomas 
Sanchez started to take the prisoner north, and at Wilmington 
boarded the little steamer Cricket to go out to the Senator, which 
was ready to sail. A goodly number of other passengers also 
boarded the tugboat, though nothing in particular was thought 
of the circumstance; but once out in the harbor, a group of 
Vigilantes, indignant at the light sentence imposed, seized the 
culprit at a prearranged signal, threw a noose about his neck 
and, in a jiffy, hung him to the flagstaff. When he was dead, 
the body was lowered and stones — brought aboard in packages 
by the committee, who had evidently considered every detail 
— were tied to the feet, and the corpse was thrown overboard 
before the steamer was reached. This was one of the acts of the 
Vigilantes that no one seemed to deprecate. 

Toward the end of 1861, J. E. Pleasants, while overseeing 
one of Wolfskin's ranches, hit the trail of some horse thieves 

1863] Droughts — Ada Hancock Disaster Z2^ 

and, assisted by City Marshal William C. Warren, pursued and 
captured several, who were sent to the penitentiary. One, how- 
ever, escaped. This was Charles Wilkins, a veritable scoundrel 
Who, having stolen a pistol and a knife from the Bella Union 
and put the same into the hands of young Wood (whose lynch- 
ing I have described) , sent the lad on his way to the gallows. A 
couple of years later Wilkins waylaid and murdered John San- 
ford, a rancher iving near Fort Tejon and a brother of Captain 
W. T. B. Sanford, the second Postmaster of Los Angeles; and 
when the murderer had been apprehended and was being tried, 
an exciting incident occurred, to which I was an eye-witness. 
On November i6th, 1854, Phineas Banning had married Miss 
Rebecca Sanford, a sister of the unfortunate man; and as 
Banning caught sight of Wilkins, he rushed forward and en- 
deavoured to avenge the crime by shooting the culprit. Ban- 
ning was then restrained; but soon after, on December 17th, 
1863, he led the Vigilance Committee which strung up Wil- 
kins on Tomlinson & Griffith's corral gateway where nearly a 
dozen culprits had already forfeited their lives. 


I 864- I 865 

OF all years of adversity before, during or since the Civil 
War, the seemingly interminable year of 1864 was for 
Southern California the worst. The varying moves 
in the great struggle, conducted mostly by Grant and Lee, Sher- 
man and Farragut, buoyed now one, now the other side; but 
whichever way the tide of battle turned, business and financial 
conditions here altered but little and improved not a whit. 
The Southwest, as I have already pointed out, was more 
dependent for its prosperity on natural conditions, such as rain, 
than upon the victory of any army or fleet ; and as this was the 
last of three successive seasons of annihilating drought, 
ranchman and merchant everywhere became downhearted. 
During the entire winter of 1862-63 no more than four inches 
of rain had fallen, and in 1864 not until JMarch was there a 
shower, and even then the earth was scarcely moistened. With 
a total assessment of something like two million dollars in the 
County, not a cent of taxes (at least in the city) was collected. 
Men were so miserably poor that confidence mutually weak- 
ened, and merchants refused to trust those who, as land and 
cattle-barons, but a short time before had been so influential 
and most of whom, in another and more favorable season or two, 
were again operators of affluence. How great was the depreci- 
ation in values may be seen from the fact that notes given by 
Francis Temple, and bearing heavy interest, were peddled 
about at fifty cents on the dollar and even then found few 


[1864-1865] Assassination of Lincoln 329 

As a result of these very infrequent rains, grass started up 
only to wither away, a small district around Anaheim inde- 
pendent of the rainfall on account of its fine irrigation system, 
' alone being green ; and thither the lean and thirsty cattle came 
by thousands, rushing in their feverish state against the great 
willow-fence I have elsewhere described. This stampede became 
such a menace, in fact, that the Anaheimers were summoned to 
defend their homes and property, and finally they had to place 
a mounted guard outside of the willow enclosures. Every- 
where large numbers of horses and cattle died, as well as many 
sheep, the plains at length being strewn with carcasses and 
bleached bones. The suffering of the poor animals beggars 
description; and so distressed with hunger were they that 
I saw famished cattle (during the summer of 1864 while on a 
visit to the springs at Paso de Robles) crowd around the hotel 
veranda for the purpose of devouring the discarded matting- 
containers which had held Chinese rice. I may also add that 
with the approach of summer the drought became worse and 
worse, contributing in no small degree to the spread of small- 
pox, then epidemic here. Stearns lost forty or fifty thousand 
head of live stock, and was much the greatest sufferer in this 
respect; and as a result, he was compelled, about June, 1865, 
to mortgage Los Alamitos rancho, with its twenty-six thousand 
acres, to Michael Reese of San Francisco, for the almost paltry 
sum of twenty thousand dollars. Even this sacrifice, however, 
did not save him from still greater financial distress. 

In 1864, two Los Angeles merchants, Louis Schlesinger and 
Hyman Tischler, owing to the recent drought foreclosed a 
mortgage on several thousand acres of land known as the 
Ricardo Vejar property, lying between Los Angeles and San 
Bernardino. Shortly after this transaction, Schlesinger was 
killed while on his way to San Francisco, in the Ada Hancock 
explosion ; after which Tischler purchased Schlesinger's interest 
in the ranch and managed it alone. 

In January, Tischler invited me to accompany him on one 
of the numerous excursions which he made to his newly-ac- 
quired possession, but, though I was inclined to go, a business 

330 Sixty Years in Southern California [1864- 

engagement interfered and kept me in tow^l. Poor Edward 
Newman, another friend of Tiscliler's, took my place. On 
the way to San Bernardino from the rancho, the travelers were 
ambushed by some ^Mexicans, who shot Newman dead. It was 
generally assumed that the bullets were intended for Tischler, 
in revenge for his part in the foreclosure; at an}' rate, he would 
never go to the ranch again, and finally sold it to Don Louis 
Phillips, on credit, for thirty thousand dollars. The inventory 
included large herds of horses and cattle, which Phillips (during 
the subsequent wet season) drove to Utah, where he realized 
sufficient from their sale alone to pay for the whole property. 
Pomona and other important places now mark the neighbor- 
hood where once roamed his herds. Phillips died some years 
ago at the family residence which he had built on the ranch 
near Spadra. 

James R. Toberman, after a trjdng experience \\'ith Texan 
Redskins, came to Los Angeles in 1864, President Lincoln 
having appointed him United States Revenue Assessor here, 
an office which he held for six years. At the same time, as 
an exceptional privilege for a Government officer, Toberman 
was permitted to become agent for Wells Fargo tS: Company, 

Again the Fourth of July was not celebrated here, the two 
factions in the community still opposing each other with 
bitterness. Hatred of the National Government had increased 
through an incident of the pre\"ious spring which stirred the 
to\A'n mightily. On the eighth or ninth of May, a group stood 
discussing the Fort Pillow Massacre, when J. F. Bilderback 
indiscreetly expressed the wish that the Confederates would an- 
niliilate every negro tal<:en with arms, and every white man, as 
well, who might be found in command of colored troops; or 
some such equally dangerous and foolish sentiment. The in- 
discretion was reported to the Government authorities, and 
Bilderback was straightway arrested by a lieutenant of cavalry, 
though he was soon released. 

Among the most rabid Democrats, particularly during the 
Civil War period, was Nigger Pete the barber. One hot day in 
August, patriotic Biggs vociferously proclaimed his ardent at- 

1865] Assassination of Lincoln 331 

tachment to the cause of Secession ; whereupon he was promptly 
arrested, placed in charge of half a dozen cavalrymen, and 
made to foot it, with an iron chain and ball attached to his 
ankle, all the way from Los Angeles to Drum Barracks at Wil- 
mington. Not in the least discouraged by his uncertain 
position, however, Pete threw his hat up into the air as he 
passed some acquaintances on the road, and gave three hearty 
cheers for Jeff Davis, thus bringing about the completion of 
his difficulty. 

For my part, I have good reason to remember the drought 
and crisis of 1864, not alone because times were miserably hard 
and prosperity seemed to have disappeared forever, or that the 
important revenue from Uncle Sam, although it relieved the 
situation, was never sufficient to go around, but also because 
of an unfortunate investment. I bought and shipped many 
thousands of hides which owners had taken from the carcasses 
of their starved cattle, forwarding them to San Francisco by 
schooner or steamer, and thence to New York by sailing vessel. 
A large number had commenced to putrefy before they were 
removed, which fact escaped my attention ; and on their arrival 
in the East, the decomposing skins had to be taken out to sea 
again and tlirown overboard, so that the net results of this 
venture were disastrous. However, we all met the difficulties 
of the situation as philosophically as we could. 

There were no railroads in California until the late sixties 
and, consequently, there was no regular method of concentra- 
tion, nor any systematic marketing of products; and this had 
a very bad economic effect on the whole State. Prices were 
extremely high during her early history, and especially so in 
1864. Barley sold at three and a half cents per pound; pota- 
toes went up to twelve and a half cents ; and flour reached fifteen 
dollars per barrel, at wholesale. IMuch flour in wooden barrels 
was then brought from New York by sailing vessels; and my 
brother imported a lot during a period of inflation, some of 
which he sold at thirteen dollars. Isaac Friedlander, a San 
Francisco pioneer, who was not alone the tallest man in that 
city but was as well a giant operator in grain and its products, 

332 Sixty Years in Southern California [1864- 

practically monopolized the wheat and flour business of the 
town; and when he heard of this interference, he purchased all 
the remainder of my brother's flour at thirteen dollars a barrel, 
and so secured control of the situation. 

Just before this transaction, I happened to be in San 
Francisco and noticing the advertisement of an approaching 
flour auction, I attended the sale. This particular lot was 
packed in sacks which had been eaten into by rats and mice 
and had, in consequence, to be resacked, sweepings and all. I 
bought one hundred barrels and shipped the flour to Los 
Angeles, and B. Dubordieu, the corpulent little French baker, 
considered himself fortunate in obtaining it at fifteen dollars 
per barrel. 

Speaking of foodstuffs, I may note that red beans then 
commanded a price of twelve and a half cents per pound, 
until a sailing vessel from Chile unexpectedly landed a cargo in 
San Francisco and sent the price dropping to a cent and a 
quarter; when commission men, among them myself, suffered 
heavy losses. 

In 1864, F. Bachman & Company sold out. Their retire- 
ment was ascribed in a measure to the series of bad years, but 
the influence of their wives was a powerful factor in inducing 
them to withdraw. The firm had been compelled to accept 
large parcels of real estate in payment of accounts; and now, 
while preparing to leave, Bachman & Co. sacrificed their fine 
holdings at prices considered ridiculous even then. The only 
one of these sales that I remember was that of a lot with a 
frontage of one hundred and twenty feet on Fort Street, and 
a one-story adobe house, which they disposed of for four hundred 

I have told of Don Juan Forster's possessions — the Santa 
Margarita rancho, where he lived until his death, and also the 
Las Flores. These he obtained in 1864, when land was worth 
but the merest song, buying the same from Pio Pico, his 
brother-in-law. The two ranches included over a hundred and 
forty thousand acres, and pastured some twenty-five thousand 
cattle, three thousand horses and six or seven thousand sheep ; 

i865i Assassination of Lincoln 333 

yet the transaction, on account of the season, was a fiscal 
operation of but minor importance. 

The hard times strikingly conduced to criminality and, 
since there were then probably not more than three or four 
policemen in Los Angeles, some of the desperadoes, here in large 
numbers and not confined to any particular nationality or 
color, took advantage of the conditions, even making several 
peculiar nocturnal assaults upon the guardians of the peace. 
The methods occasionally adopted satisfied the community 
that Mexican bandidos were at work. Two of these worthies on 
horseback, while approaching a policeman, would suddenly dash 
in opposite directions, bringing a reata (in the use of which 
they were always most proficient) taut to the level of their sad- 
dles; and striking the policeman with the hide or hair rope, 
they would throw him to the ground with such force as to 
disable him. Then the ingenious robbers would carry out their 
well-planned depredations in the neighborhood and disappear 
with their booty. 

J. Ross Browne, one of the active Forty-niners in San 
Francisco and author of Crusoe's Island and various other vol- 
umes dealing with early life in California and along the Coast, 
was on and off a visitor to Los Angeles, first passing through 
here in 1859, en route to the Washoe Gold fields, and stopping 
again in 1864. 

Politics enlivened the situation somewhat in the fall of 
this year of depression. In September, the troops were with- 
drawn from Catalina Island, and the following month most 
of the guard was brought in from Fort Tejon ; and this, creating 
possibly a feeling of security, paved the way for still larger 
Union meetings in October and November. Toward the end 
of October, Francisco P. Ramirez, formerly editor of El Clamor 
Publico, was made Postmaster, succeeding William G. Still, 
upon whose life an attempt had been made while he was in 

As an illustration of how a fortunate plunger acquired prop- 
erty now worth millions, through the disinclination on the part 
of most people here to add to their taxes in this time of drought, 

334 Sixty Years in Southern California [1864- 

I may mention two pieces of land included in the early Ord 
survey, one hundred and twenty by one hundred and sixty-five 
feet in size — one at the southwest corner of Spring and Fourth 
streets, the other at the southeast corner of Fort and Fourth — 
which were sold on December 12th, 1864, for two dollars and 
fifty-two cents, delinquent taxes. The tax on each lot was 
but one dollar and twenty-six cents, yet only one purchaser 
appeared ! 

About that very time, there was another and noteworthy 
movement in favor of the establishment of a railroad between 
Los Angeles and San Pedro. In December, committees from 
outside towns met here with our citizens to debate the sub- 
ject ; but by the end of the several days' conference, no real 
progress had been made. 

The year 1865 gave scant promise, at least in its opening, 
of better times to come. To be sure, Northern arms were 
more and more victorious, and with the approach of Lincoln's 
second inauguration the conviction grew that under the leader- 
ship of such a man national prosperity might return. Little 
did we dream that the most dramatic of all tragedies in our 
history was soon to be enacted. In Southern California the 
effects of the long drought continued, and the certainty that 
the cattle-industry, once so vast and flourishing, was now but a 
memory, discouraged a people to whom the vision of a far more 
profitable use of the land had not yet been revealed. 

For several years my family, including three children, had 
been shifting from pillar to post owing to the lack of residences 
such as are now built to sell or lease, and I could not postpone 
any longer the necessity of obtaining larger quarters. We 
had occupied, at various times, a little shanty on Franklin Street, 
owned by a carpenter named Wilson; a small, one-story brick 
on Main Street near First, owned by Henne, the brewer; and 
once we lived with the Kremers in a one-story house, none too 
large, on Fort Street. Again we dwelt on Fort Street in a little 
brick house that stood on the site of the present Chamber of 
Commerce building, next door to Governor Downey's, before he 
moved to Main Street. The nearest approach to convenience 

i865] Assassination of Lincoln 335 

was afforded by oiir occupancy of Henry Dalton's two-story 
brick on Main Street near Second. One day a friend told me 
that Jim Easton had an adobe on Main Street near Third, 
which he wished to sell; and on inquiry, I bought the place, 
paying him a thousand dollars for fifty-four feet, the entire 
frontage being occupied by the house. Main Street, beyond 
First, was practically in the same condition as at the time of 
my arrival, no streets running east having been opened south 
of First. 

After moving in, we were inconvenienced because there was 
no driveway, and everything needed for housekeeping had to be 
carried, in consequence, through the front door of the dwelling. 
I therefore interviewed my friend and neighbor, Ygnacio Garcia, 
who owned a hundred feet adjoining me, and asked him if he 
would sell or rent me twenty feet of his property ; whereupon he 
permitted me the free use of twenty feet, thus supplying me with 
access to the rear of my house. A few months later, Alfred 
B. Chapman, Garcia's legal adviser (who, by the way, is still 
alive) * brought me a deed to the twenty feet of land, the only 
expense being a fee of twenty-five dollars to Chapman for 
making out the document ; and later Garcia sold his remaining 
eighty feet to Tom Mott for five dollars a foot. This lot is 
still in my possession. In due time, I put up a large, old- 
fashioned wooden barn with a roomy hay-loft, stalls for a 
couple of horses or mules, and space for a large flat-truck, the 
first of the kind for years in Los Angeles. John Simmons had 
his room in the barn and was one of my first porters. I had 
no regular driver for the truck, but John usually served in that 

Incidentally to this story of my selecting a street on which 
to live, I may say that during the sixties Main and San Pedro 
streets were among the chief residential sections, and Spring 
Street was only beginning to be popular for homes. The fact 
that some people living on the west side of Main Street built 
their stables in back-yards connecting with Spring Street, re- 
tarded the latter's growth. 

' Died, January 22d, 191 5. 

336 Sixty Years in Southern California I1864- 

Here I may well repeat the story of the naming of Spring 
Street, particulariy as it exemplifies the influence that ro- 
mance sometimes has upon affairs usually prosaic. Ord, the 
surveyor, was then more than prepossessed in favor of the 
delightful Seiiorita Trinidad de la Guerra, for whose hand he 
was, in fact, a suitor and to whom he always referred as Mi 
Primavera — "My Springtime;" and when asked to name the 
new thoroughfare, he gallantly replied, "Primavera, of course! 

On February 3d, a wind-storm, the like of which the 
proverbial "oldest inhabitant" could scarcely recall, struck 
Los Angeles amidships, unroofing many houses and blowing 
down orchards. Wolfskill lost heavily, and Banning & Com- 
pany's large barn at the northeast corner of Fort and Second 
streets, near the old schoolhouse, was demolished, scarcely a 
post remaining upright. A curious sight, soon after the storm 
began to blow, was that of many citizens weighing down and 
lashing fast their roofs, just as they do in Sweden, Norway 
and Switzerland, to keep them from being carried to un- 
expected, not to say inconvenient, locations. 

In early days, steamers plying up and down the Pacific 
Coast, as I have pointed out, were so poor in every respect that 
it was necessary to make frequent changes in their names, to 
induce passengers to travel on them at all. As far back as 
i860, one frequently heard the expression, "the old tubs;" and 
in 1865, even the best-known boat on the Southern run was 
publicly discussed as "the rotten old Senator,'' "the old hulk" 
and "the floating coffin." At this time, there was a strong 
feeling against the Steam Navigation Company for its ar- 
bitrary treatment of the public, its steamers sometimes leaving 
a whole day before the date on which they were advertised to 
depart; and this criticism and dissatisfaction finally resulted 
in the putting on of the opposition steamer Pacific which for 
the time became popular. 

In 1865, Judge Benjamin S. Eaton tried another agricultural 
experiment which many persons of more experience at first 
predicted would be a failure. He had moved into the cottage 

i86s] Assassination of Lincoln 337 

at Fair Oaks, built by the estimable lady of General Albert 
Sidney Johnston, and had planted five thousand or more grape- 
vines in the good though dry soil; but the lack of surface 
water caused vineyardists to shake their heads incredulously. 
The vines prospered so well that, in the following year, 
Eaton planted five or six times as many more. He came to 
the conclusion, however, that he must have water; and so 
arranged to bring some from what is now known as Eaton's 
Cafion. I remember that, after his vines began to bear, 
the greatest worry of the Judge was not the matter of irrigation, 
but the wild beasts that preyed upon the clustering fruit. 
The visitor to Pasadena and Altadena to-day can hardly realize 
that in those very localities both coyotes and bears were 
rampant, and that many a night the irate Judge was roused 
by the barking dogs as they drove the intruders out of the 

Tomlinson & Company, always energetic competitors in 
the business of transportation in Southern California, began 
running, about the first of April, a new stage line between Los 
Angeles and San Bernardino, making three trips a week. 

On the fifteenth of April, my family physician. Dr. John S. 
Griffin, paid a professional visit to my house on Main Street, 
which might have ended disastrously for him. While we were 
seated together by an open window in the dining-room, a man 
named Kane ran by on the street, shouting out the momentous 
news that Abraham Lincoln had been shot ! Griffin, who was a 
staunch Southerner, was on his feet instantly, cheering for Jeff 
Davis. He gave evidence, indeed, of great mental excitement, 
and soon seized his hat and rushed for the door, hurrahing for 
the Confederacy. In a flash, I realized that Griffin would be in 
awful jeopardy if he reached the street in that unbalanced con- 
dition, and by main force I held him back, convincing him at 
last of his folly. In later years the genial Doctor frankly 
admitted that I had undoubtedly saved him from certain 

This incident brings to mind another, associated with 
Henry Baer, whose father, Abraham, a native of Bavaria and 

338 Sixty Years in Southern California [1864- 

one of the earliest tailors here, had arrived from New Orleans 
in 1854. ^Mien Lincoln's assassination was first known, 
Henry ran out of the house, singing Dixie and shouting for the 
South; but his father, overtaking him, brought him back and 
gave him a sound whipping — an act nearly breaking up the 
Baer family, inasmuch as Airs. Baer was a pronounced 

The news of Lincoln's assassination made a profound im- 
pression in Los Angeles, though it cannot be denied that some 
Southern sympathizers, on first impulse, thought that it would 
be advantageous to the Confederate cause. There was, there- 
fore, for the moment, some ill-advised exultation; but this was 
promptly suppressed, either by the militar}' or by the firm stand 
of the more level-headed members of the community. Soon 
even radically-inclined citizens, in an effort to uphold the 
fair name of the town, fell into line, and steps were taken 
fittingly to mourn the nation's loss. On the seventeenth of 
April, the Common Council passed appropriate resolutions; 
and Governor Low having telegraphed that Lincoln's funeral 
would be held in Washington on the nineteenth, at twelve 
o'clock noon, the Union League of Los Angeles took the initia- 
tive and invited the various societies of the city to join in a 
funeral procession. 

On April 19th all the stores were closed, business was sus- 
pended and soldiers as well as ci\"ilians assembled in front 
of Arcadia Block, There were present L'nited States officers, 
mounted cavalry under command of Captain Ledyard; the 
Mayor and Common Council; various lodges; the Hebrew 
Congregation B'nai-B'rith; the Teutonia, the French Benevo- 
lent and the Junta Patriotica societies, and numerous citi- 
zens. Under the marshalship of S. F. Lamson the procession 
moved slowly over what to-day would be regarded as an 
insignificantly short route: west on Arcadia Street to Main; 
down Main Street to Spring as far as First; east on First Street 
to ALain and up Alain Street, proceeding back to the City Hall 
by way of Spring, at which point the parade disbanded. 

Later, on the same day, there were memorial services in the 

i865] Assassination of Lincoln 339 

upper story of the old Temple Court House, where Rev. Elias 
Birdsall, the Episcopal clergyman, delivered a splendid oration 
and panegyric; and at the same time, the members of the 
Hebrew Congregation met at the house of Rabbi A. W. Edel- 
man. Prayers for the martyred President were uttered, and 
supplication was made for the recovery of Secretary of State 
Seward. The resolutions presented on this occasion concluded 
as follows: 

Resolved, that with feelings of the deepest sorrow we 
deplore the loss our country has sustained in the untimely end 
of our late President; but as it has pleased the Almighty to 
deprive this Country of its Chief and great friend, we bow with 
submission to the All-wise Will. 

I may add that, soon after the assassination of the President, 
the Federal authorities sent an order to Los Angeles to arrest 
anyone found rejoicing in the foul deed; and that several per- 
sons, soon in the toils, were severely dealt with. In San Fran- 
cisco, too, when the startling news was flashed over the wires, 
Unionist mobs demolished the plants of the Democratic Press, 
the News Letter and a couple of other journals very ^ibusive 
toward the martyred Emancipator; the editors and pub- 
lishers themselves escaping with their lives only by flight and 

Notwithstanding the strong Secessionist sentiment in Los 
Angeles during much of the Civil War period, the City elec- 
tion resulted in a Unionist victory. Jose IMascarel was elected 
Mayor; William C. Warren, Marshal; J. F. Burns, Treasurer; 
J. H. Lander, Attorney; and J. W. Beebe, Assessor. The 
triumph of the Federal Government doubtless at once began to 
steady and improve affairs throughout the country ; but it was 
some time before any noticeable progress was felt here. Par- 
ticularly unfortunate were those who had gone east or south for 
actual service, and who were obliged to make their way, finally, 
back to the Coast. Among such volunteers was Captain 
Cameron E. Thom who, on landing at San Pedro, was glad to 

340 Sixty Years in Southern California [1864- 

have J. M. Griffith advance him money enough to reach Los 
Angeles and begin Ufe again. 

Outdoor restaurant gardens were popular in the sixties. 
On April 23d, the Tivoli Garden was reopened by Henry Sohms, 
and thither, on holidays and Sundays, many pleasure-lovers 

Sometime in the spring and during the incumbency of 
Rev. Elias Birdsall as rector, the Right Reverend William 
Ingraham Kip, who had come to the Pacific Coast in 1853, 
made his first visit to the Episcopal Chiu-ch in Los Angeles, as 
Bishop of California, although really elevated to that high 
office seven years before. Bishop Kip was one of the young 
clergy who pleaded with the unresponsive culprits strung up by 
the San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1856; and later he 
was kno-^Ti as an author. The Reverend Birdsall, by the way, 
was Rector of St. Paul's School on Ohve Street, between 
Fifth and Sixth, as late as 1S87. 

John G. DowTiey subdivided the extensive Santa Gertrudis 
rancho on the San Gabriel River in the spring, and the first 
deed was made out to J. H. Burke, a son-in-law of Captain 
Jesse Himter. Burke, a man of splendid physique, was a 
blacksmith whose Alain Street shop was next to the site of the 
present Van Nuys Hotel. Downey and he exchanged proper- 
ties, the ex-Governor building a handsome brick residence on 
Burke's lot, and Burke removing his blacksmith business to 
Downey's new town where, by remaining until the property 
had appreciated, he became well-to-do. 

I have alluded to the Dominguez rancho, known as the San 
Pedro, but I have not said that, in 1865, some ioui thousand 
acres of this property were sold to Temple & Gibson at thirty- 
five cents an acre, and that on a portion of this land G. D. 
Compton founded the town named after him and first called 
Comptonville. It was really a Methodist Church enterprise, 
planned from the beginning as a pledge to teetotalism, and is of 
particular interest because it is one of the oldest towns in Los 
Angeles County, and certainly the first "dry" community. 
Compton paid Temple & Gibson five dollars an acre. 

i865] Assassination of Lincoln 341 

Toward the end of the War, that is, in May, Major-General 
Irwin McDowell, the unfortunate commander of the Army of the 
Potomac who had been nearly a year in charge of the Depart- 
ment of the Pacific, made Los Angeles a long-announced visit, 
coming on the Government steamer Saginaw. The distin- 
guished officer, his family and suite were speedily whirled to 
the Bella Union, the competing drivers shouting and cursing 
themselves hoarse in their efforts to get the General or the 
General's wife, in different stages, there first. As was cus- 
tomary in those simpler days, most of the townsfolk whose 
politics would permit called upon the guest ; and Editor Con- 
way and other Unionists were long closeted with him. After 
thirty-six hours or more, during which the General inspected 
the local Government headquarters and the ladies were driven 
to, and entertained at, various homes, the party, accompanied 
by Collector James and Attorney-General McCullough, boarded 
the cutter and made off for the North. 

Anticipating this visit of General McDowell, due prepara- 
tions were made to receive him. It happened, however, as I 
have indicated, that Jose Mascarel was then Mayor; and since 
he had never been able to express himself freely in English, 
though speaking Spanish as well as French, it was feared that 
embarrassment must follow the meeting of the civil and mili- 
tary personages. Luckily, however, like many scions of early 
well-to-do American families, McDowell had been educated in 
France, and the two chiefs were soon having a free and easy 
talk in Mascarel's native tongue. 

An effort, on May 2d, better to establish St. Vincent's 
College as the one institution of higher learning here was but 
natural at that time. In the middle of the sixties, quite as 
many children attended private academies in Los Angeles 
County as were in the public schools, while three-fifths of all 
children attended no school at all. At the beginning of the 
Twentieth Century, two-thirds of all the children in the 
county attended public schools. 

H. NE^^'^IARK & co. — carlisle-kixg duel 

I 865-1 866 

FROM 1862 I continued for three years, as I have told, in 
the commission business; and notwithstanding the had 
seasons, I was thus pursuing a sufficiently easy and 
pleasant existence when a remark which, after the lapse of 
time, I see may have been carelessly dropped, inspired me with 
the determination to enter again upon a more strenuous and 
confining life. 

On Friday, June i8th, 1865, I was seated in my little office, 
when a Los Angeles merchant named David Solomon, whose 
store was in the Arcadia Block, called upon me and, with 
much feeling, related that while returning by steamer from 
the North, Prudent Beaudry had made the senseless boast 
that he would drive ever}' Jew in Los Angeles out of business. 
Beaudry, then a man of large means, conducted in his one- 
story adobe building on the northeast comer of Aliso and Los 
Angeles streets the largest general merchandise establishment 
this side of San Francisco. I listened to Solomon's recital 
without giving expression to my immediately -formed resolve; 
but no sooner had he left than I closed my office and started 
for Wilmington. 

During the twelve years that I had been in California the 
forwarding business between Los Angeles and the Coast had 
seen many changes. Tomlinson & Company- , who had bought 
out A. W. Timms, controlled the largest tonnage in town, 
including that of Beaudr}'', Jones, Childs and others; while 



H. Newmark & Co.'s Store, Arcadia Block, about 1875, Including (left) John Jones's 

Former Premises 

H. Newmark & Co.'s Building, Amestoy Block, about 1884 

[1865-1866I H. Newmark & Co.-Carlisle-King Duel 343 

Banning & Company, although actively engaged in the trans- 
portation to Yuma of freight and supplies for the United States 
Government, were handicapped for lack of business into Los 
Angeles. I thought, therefore, that Phineas Banning would 
eagerly seize an opportunity to pay his score to the numerous 
local merchants who had treated him with so little considera- 
tion. Besides, a very close intimacy existed between him and 
myself, which may best be illustrated by the fact that, for years 
past when short of cash, Banning used to come to my old 
sheet-iron safe and help himself according to his requirements. 

Arriving in Wilmington, I found Banning loading a lot of 
teams with lumber. I related the substance of Solomon's 
remarks and proposed a secret partnership, with the under- 
standing that, providing he would release me from the then 
existing charge of seven dollars and a half per ton for hauling 
freight from Wilmington to Los Angeles, I should supply the 
necessary capital, purchase a stock of goods, conduct the busi- 
ness without cost to him and then divide the profits if any 
should accrue. Banning said, "I must first consult Don 
David," meaning Alexander, his partner, promising at the 
same time to report the result within a few days. While I 
was at dinner, therefore, on the following Sunday, Patrick 
Downey, Banning's Los Angeles agent, called on me and stated 
that "the Chief" was in his office in the Downey Block, on 
the site of Temple's old adobe, and would be glad to see me. 

Without further parleying. Banning accepted my propo- 
sition; and on the following morning, or June 21st, I rented 
the last vacant store in Stearns's Arcadia Block on Los Angeles 
Street, which stands to-day, by the way, much as it was erected 
in 1858. It adjoined John Jones's, and was nearly opposite the 
establishment of P. Beaudry. There I put up the sign of H. 
Newmark, soon to be changed to H. Newmark & Company; 
and it is a source of no little gratification to me that from this 
small beginning has developed the wholesale grocery firm of 
M. A. Newmark & Company.* 

■ Fifty years after this unpretentious venture in Arcadia Block, that is, in the 
summer of 19 15, the half-centenary of M. A. Newmark & Company and their pre- 

344 Sixty Years in Southern California I1865- 

At that time, Stearns's property was all in the hands of the 
Sheriff, Tomas Sanchez, who had also been appointed Receiver; 
and like all the other tenants, I rented my storeroom from 
Deputy A. J. King. Rents and other incomes were paid to 
the Receiver, and out of them a regular monthly allowance of 
fifty dollars was made to Stearns for his private expenses. The 
stock on Stearns's ranches, by the way, was then in charge of 
Pierre Domec, a well-known and prosperous man, who was here 
perhaps a decade before I came. 

My only assistant was my wide-awake nephew, M. A. 
Newmark, then fifteen years of age, who had arrived in Los 
Angeles early in 1865. At my request Banning & Company 
released their bookkeeper, Frank Lecouvreur, and I engaged 
him. He was a thoroughly reliable man and had, besides, a 
technical knowledge of wagon materials, in which, as a side- 
line, I expected to specialize. While all of these arrangements 
were being completed, the local business world queried and 
buzzed as to my intentions. 

Having rented quarters, I immediately telegraphed my 
brother, J. P. Newmark, to buy and ship a quantity of flour, 
sugar, potatoes, salt and other heavy staples ; and these I sold, 
upon arrival, at cost and steamer freight plus seven dollars 
and a half per ton. Since the departure of my brother from 
Los Angeles for permanent residence in San Francisco (where 
he entered into partnership with Isaac Lightner, form-ing J. P. 
Newmark & Company), he had been engaged in the com- 
mission business; and this afforded me facilities I might 

deccssors was celebrated with a picnic in the woodlands belonging to Universal 
City, the holiday and its pleasures having been provided by the firm as a compli- 
ment to its emploj'ees. On that occasion, a loving-cup was presented by the 
employees to M. A. Newmark, who responded feelingly to the speech by M. H. 
Newmark. Another, but somewhat differently inscribed cup was tendered Harris 
Newmark in an address by Herman Flatau, bringing from the venerable recipient 
a hearty reply, full of genial reminiscence and natural emotion, in which he happily 
likened his commercial enterprise, once the small store in Los Angeles Street, to 
a snowball rolling down the mountain-side, gathering in momentum and size 
and, fortunately, preserving its original whiteness. Undoubtedly, this Fif ty-Year 
Jubilee will take its place among the pleasantest experiences of a long and varied 
career. — The Editors. 

i866] H. Newmark Sc Co. — Carlisle-King Duel 345 

otherwise not have had. Inasmuch also, as all of my neigh- 
bors were obliged to pay this toll for hauling, while I was 
not, they were forced to do business at cost. About the 
first of July, I went to San Francisco and laid in a complete 
stock paralleling, with the exception of clothing and dry goods, 
the lines handled by Beaudry. Banning, who was then build- 
ing prairie schooners for which he had ordered some three 
hundred and fifty tons of iron and other wagon materials, 
joined me in chartering the brig Tanner on which I loaded 
an equal tonnage of general merchandise, wagon parts and 
blacksmith coal. The very important trade with Salt Lake 
City, elsewhere described, helped us greatly, for we at once 
negotiated with the Mormon leaders; and giving them credit 
when they were short of funds, it was not long before we were 
brought into constant communication with Brigham Young and 
through his influence monopolized the Salt Lake business. 

Thinking over these days of our dealings with the Latter- 
day Saints, I recall a very amusing experience with an apostle 
named Crosby, who once brought down a number of teams and 
wagons to load with supplies. During his visit to town, I 
invited him and several of his friends to dinner; and in answer 
to the commonplace inquiry as to his preference for some par- 
ticular part of a dish, Crosby made the logical Mormonite reply 
that quantity was what appealed to him most — a flash of wit 
much appreciated by all of the guests. During this same visit, 
Crosby tried hard to convert me to Mormonism; but, after 
several ineffectual interviews, he abandoned me as a hopeless 

At another time, while reflecting on my first years as a 
wholesale grocer, I was led to examine a day-book of 1867 and 
to draw a comparison between the prices then current and now, 
when the high cost of living is so much discussed. Raw sugar 
sold at fourteen cents; starch at sixteen; crushed sugar at 
seventeen; ordinary tea at sixty; coal oil at sixty-five cents a 
gallon; axle-grease at seventy-five cents per tin; bluing at one 
dollar a pound; and wrapping paper at one dollar and a half 
per ream. Spices, not yet sold in cans, cost tliree dollars for a 

346 Sixty Years in Southern California [1865- 

dozen bottles; yeast powders, now superseded by baking 
powder, commanded the same price per dozen; twenty-five 
pounds of shot in a bag cost three dollars and a half; while in 
October of that year, blacksmith coal, shipped in casks holding 
fifteen hundred and ninet^^-two pounds each, sold at the rate 
of fifty dollars a ton. 

The steamers On'flammc, California, Pacific and Sierra 
Nevada commenced to run in 1866 and continued until about 
the middle of the seventies. The Pacific was later sunk in the 
Straits of San Juan de Fuca; and the Sierra Nei'ada was lost 
on the rocks off Port Harford. The Los Angeles, the Ventura 
and the Constantine were steamers of a somewhat later date, 
seldom going farther south than San Pedro and continuing 
to run until they were lost. 

To resiime the suggestive story of I. W. Hellman, who 
remained in business with his cousin until he was able in 1 865 
to buy out Adolph Portugal and embark for himself, at the 
comer of Main and Commercial streets : during his association 
with large landowners and men of affairs, who esteemed 
him for his practicality, he was fortunate in securing their 
confidence and patronage; and being asked so often to op- 
erate for them in financial matters, he laid the foundation for 
his subsequent career as a banker, in which he has attained such 

The Pioneer Oil Company had been organized about the 
first of February, with Phineas Banning, President ; P. Downey, 
Secretary; Charles Ducommon, Treasurer; and Winfield S. 
Hancock, Dr. John S. Griffin, Dr. J. B. Winston, M. Keller, 
B. D. Wilson, J. G. Downey and Volney E. Howard among the 
trustees; and the company soon acquired title to all hrca, petro- 
leum or rock oil in San Pasqual ranch 0. In the early summer, 
Sackett & Ivlorgan, on ^Main Street near the Post Office, 
exhibited some local kerosene or "coal-oil;" and experimenters 
were gathering the oil that floated on Pico Spring and refining 
it, without distillation, at a cost of ten cents a gallon. Coming 
just when Major Stroble announced progress in boring at la 
Canada de Brea, these ventures increased here the excitement 

18661 H. Newmark & Co. — Carlisle-King Duel 347 

about oil and soon after wells were sunk in the Camulos 

On Wednesday afternoon, July 5th, at four o'clock, occurred 
one of the pleasant social occasions of the mid-sixties — the 
wedding of Solomon Lazard and Miss Caroline, third daughter 
of Joseph Newmark. The bride's father performed the cere- 
mony at M. Kremer's residence on Main Street, near my own 
adobe and the site on which, later, C. E. Thom built his charm- 
ing residence, with its rural attractions, diagonally across from 
the pleasant grounds of Colonel J. G. Howard. The same even- 
ing at half -past eight a ball and dinner at the Bella Union cele- 
brated the event. 

While these festivities were taking place, a quarrel, ending 
in a tragedy, began in the hotel office below. Robert Carlisle, 
who had married Francisca, daughter of Colonel Isaac Wil- 
liams, and was the owner of some forty-six thousand acres 
comprising the Chino Ranch, fell into an altercation with A. J. 
King, then Under Sheriff, over the outcome of a murder trial ; but 
before any further damage was done, friends separated them. 

About noon on the following day, however, when people 
were getting ready to leave for the steamer and everything was 
life and bustle about the hotel, Frank and Houston King, 
the Under Sheriff's brothers, passing by the bar-room of the 
Bella Union and seeing Carlisle inside, entered, drew their 
six-shooters and began firing at him. Carlisle also drew a 
revolver and shot Frank King, who died almost instantly. 
Houston King kept up the fight, and Carlisle, riddled with 
bullets, dropped to the sidewalk. There King, not yet seriously 
injured, struck his opponent on the head, the force of the 
blow breaking his weapon ; but Carlisle, a man of iron, put forth 
his little remaining strength, staggered to the wall, raised his 
pistol with both hands, took deliberate aim and fired. It 
was his last, but effective shot, for it penetrated King's body. 

Carlisle was carried into the hotel and placed on a billiard- 
table ; and there, about three o'clock, he expired. At the first 
exchange of shots, the people nearby, panic-stricken, fled, and 
only a merciful Providence prevented the sacrifice of other 

34^ Sixty Years in Southern California [1865- 

lives. J. H. Lander was accidentally wounded in the thigh; 
some eight or ten bystanders had their clothes pierced by stray 
bullets; and one of the stage-horses dropped where he stood 
before the hotel door. When the first shot was fired, I was on 
the corner of Commercial Street, only a short distance away, 
and reached the scene in time to see Frank King expire and 
witness Carlisle writhing in agony — a death more striking, 
considering the murder of Carlisle's brother-in-law, John Rains. 
Carlisle was buried from the Bella Union at four o'clock the 
next day. King's funeral took place from A. J. King's resi- 
dence, two days later, at eight o'clock in the morning. 

Houston King having recovered, he was tried for Carlisle's 
murder, but was acquitted; the trial contributing to make the 
affair one of the most mournful of all tragic events in the 
early history of Los Angeles, and rendering it impossible to 
express the horror of the public. One feature only of the 
terrible contest afforded a certain satisfaction, and that was 
the splendid exhibition of those qualities, in some respects 
heroic, so common among the old Californians of that time. 

July was clouded with a particularly gruesome murder. 
George Williams and Cyrus Kimball of San Diego, while 
removing with their families to Los Angeles, had spent the 
night near the Santa Ana River, and while some distance from 
camp, at sunrise next morning, were overtaken by seven armed 
desperadoes, under the leadership of one Jack O'Brien, and 
without a word of explanation, were shot dead. The women,' 
hearing the commotion, ran toward the spot, only to be com- 
manded by the robbers to deliver all money and valuables in 
their possession. Over three thousand dollars — the entire sav- 
ings of their husbands — was secured, after which the murderers 
made their escape. Posses scoured the surrounding country, 
but the cutthroats were never apprehended. 

Stimulated, perhaps, by the King-Carlisle tragedy, the 
Common Coimcil in July prohibited everybody except offfcers 
and travelers from carrying a pistol, dirk, sling-shot or sword; 
but the measure lacked public support, and little or no atten- 
tion was paid to the law. 

i866] H. Newmark & Co. — Carlisle-King Duel 349 

Some idea of the modest proportion of business affairs in 
the early sixties may be gathered from the fact that, when the 
Los Angeles Post Office, on August loth, was made a money- 
deposit office, it was obligatory that all cash in excess of 
five hundred dollars should be despatched by steamer to San 

In 1865, W. H. Perry, having been given a franchise to light 
the city with gas, organized the Los Angeles City Gas Company, 
five years later selling out his holdings at a large profit. A 
promise was made to furnish free gas for lamps at the principal 
crossings on Main Street and for lights in the Mayor's office, and 
the consumers' price at first agreed upon was ten dollars a 
thousand cubic feet. 

The history of Westlake Park is full of interest. About 
1865, the City began to sell part of its public land, in lots of 
thirty-five acres, employing E. W. Noyes as auctioneer. Much 
of it went at five and ten dollars an acre ; but when the district 
now occupied by the park and lake was reached, the auctioneer 
called in vain for bids at even a dollar an acre ; nobody wanted 
the alkali hillocks. Then the auctioneer offered the area at twen- 
ty-five cents an acre, but still received no bids, and the sale was 
discontinued. In the late eighties, a number of citizens who 
had bought land in the vicinity came to Mayor Workman and 
promised to pay one-half of the cost of making a lake and laying 
out pleasure grounds on the unsightly place ; and as the Mayor 
favored the plan, it was executed, and this was the first step in 
the formation of Westlake Park. 

On September 2d, Dr. J. J. Dyer, a dentist from San 
Francisco, having opened an office in the Bella Union hotel, 
announced that he would visit the homes of patrons and there 
extract or repair the sufferers' teeth. The complicated equip- 
ment of a modern dentist would hardly permit of such peri- 
patetic service to-day, although representatives of this pro- 
fession and also certain opticians still travel to many of the 
small inland towns in California, once or twice a year, stopping 
in each for a week or two at a time. 

I have spoken of the use, in 1853, of river water for drink- 

350 Sixty Years in Southern California [1865- 

ing, and the part played by the private water-carrier. This 
system was still largely used until the fall when David W. 
Alexander leased all the public water-works for four years, 
together with the privilege of renewing the lease another four 
or six years. Alexander was to pay one thousand dollars 
rental a year, agreeing also to surrender the plant to the 
City at the termination of his contract. On August 7th, 
Alexander assigned his lease to Don Louis Sainsevain, and 
about the middle of October Sainsevain made a new contract. 
Damien Marchessault associated himself with Don Louis and 
together they laid pipes from the street now known as Macy 
throughout the business part of the city, and as far (!) south as 
First Street. These water pipes were constructed of pine logs 
from the mountains of San Bernardino, bored and made to 
join closely at the ends; but they were continually bursting, 
causing springs of water that made their way to the surface of 
the streets. 

Conway & Waite sold the News, then a "tri-weekly" sup- 
posed to appear three times a week, yet frequently issued 
but twice, to A. J. King & Company, on November nth; 
and King, becoming the editor, made of the newspaper a semi- 

To complete what I was saying about the Schlesingers : 
In 1865, Moritz returned to Germany. Jacob had arrived in 
Los Angeles in i860, but disappearing four years later, his 
whereabouts was a mystery until, one fine day, his brother 
received a letter from him dated, "Gun Boat Pocahontas.'* 
Jake had entered the service of Uncle Sam! The Pocahontas 
was engaged in blockade work under command of Admiral 
Farragut ; and Jake and the Admiral were paying special atten- 
tion to Sabine Pass, then fortified by the Confederacy. 

On November 27th, Andrew J. Glassell and Colonel 
James G. Howard arrived together in Los Angeles. The 
former had been admitted to the California Bar some ten or 
twelve years before; but in the early sixties he temporarily 
abandoned his profession and engaged in ranching near Santa 
Cruz. After the War, Glassell drifted back to the practice 

i866] H. Newmark & Co. — Carlisle-King Duel 351 

of law ; and having soon cast his lot with Los Angeles, formed a 
partnership with Alfred B. Chapman. Two or three years 
later, Colonel George H. Smith, a Confederate Army officer 
who in the early seventies lived on Fort Street, was taken 
into the firm; and for years Glassell, Chapman and Smith 
were among the leading attorneys at the Los Angeles Bar. 
Glassell died on January 28th, 1901. 

To add to the excitement of the middle sixties, a picturesque 
street encounter took place, terminating almost fatally. Col- 
onel, the redoubtable E. J. C. Kewen, and a good-natured 
German named Fred Lemberg, son-in-law to the old miller 
Bors, having come to blows on Los Angeles Street near Mel- 
lus's Row, Lemberg knocked Kewen down; whereupon friends 
interfered and peace was apparently restored. Kewen, a 
Southerner, dwelt upon the fancied indignity to which he 
had been subjected and went from store to store until he 
finally borrowed a pistol; after which, in front of John 
Jones's, he lay in wait. When Lemberg, who, because of his 
nervous energy, was known as the Flying Dutchman, again 
appeared, rushing across the street in the direction of Mellus's 
Row, the equally excited Colonel opened fire, drawing from his 
adversary a retaliatory round of shots. I was standing nearly 
opposite the scene and saw the Flying Dutchman and Kewen, 
each dodging around a pillar in front of The Row, until finally 
Lemberg, with a bullet in his abdomen, ran out into Los 
Angeles Street and fell to the ground, his legs convulsively 
assuming a perpendicular position and then dropping back. 
After recovering from what was thought to be a fatal wound, 
Lemberg left Los Angeles for Arizona or Mexico ; but before he 
reached his destination, he was murdered by Indians. 

I have told of the trade between Los Angeles and Salt Lake 
City, which started up briskly in 1855, and grew in importance 
until the completion of the transcontinental railroad put an 
end to it. Indeed, in 1865 and 1866 Los Angeles enterprise 
pushed forward until merchandise was teamed as far as Ban- 
nock, Idaho, four hundred and fifty miles beyond Salt Lake, and 
Helena, Montana, fourteen hundred miles away. This indicates 

35^ Sixty Years in Southern California [1865- 

to what an extent the building of railroads ultimately affected 
the early Los Angeles merchants. 

The Spanish drama was the event of December 17th, when 
Senor Don Guirado L. del Castillo and Senora Amelia Estrella 
del Castillo played La Trenza de sus Cabellos to an enthusiastic 

In 1865 or 1866, William T. Glassell, a younger brother 
of Andrew Glassell, came to Los Angeles on a visit; and being 
attracted by the Southwest country, he remained to assist Glas- 
sell & Chapman in founding Orange, formerly known as Rich- 
land. No doabt pastoral California looked good to young 
Glassell, for he had but just passed eighteen weary months in a 
Northern military prison. Having thought out a plan for 
blowing up the United States ironclads off Charleston Harbor, 
Lieutenant Glassell supervised the construction of a cigar- 
shaped craft, known as a David, which carried a torpedo at- 
tached to the end of a fifteen-foot pole; and on October 5th, 
1863, young Glassell and three other volunteers steamed out 
in the darkness against the formidable new Ironsides. The 
torpedo was exploded, doing no greater damage than to send 
up a column of water, which fell onto the ship, and also to 
hurl the young officers into the bay. Glassell died here at an 
early age. 

John T. Best, the Assessor, was another pioneer who had an 
adventurous life prior to, and for a long time after, coming 
to California. Having run away to sea from his Maine home 
about the middle fifties. Best soon found himself among 
pirates; but escaping their clutches, he came under the domi- 
nation of a captain whose cruelty, off desolate Cape Horn, was 
hardly preferable to death. Reaching California about 1858, 
Best fled from another captain's brutality and, making his 
way into the Northern forests, was taken in and protected by 
kind-hearted woodmen secluded within palisades. Successive 
Indian outbreaks constantly threatened him and his comrades, 
and for years he was compelled to defend himself against the 
savages. At last, safe and sound, he settled within the pale of 
civilization, at the outbreak of the Civil War enHsting as a 

1866] H. Nevvmark & Co. — Carlisle-King Duel 353 

Union officer In the first battalion of California soldiers. 
Since then Best has resided mostly in Los Angeles. 

The year 1866 is memorable as the concluding period of 
the great War. Although Lee had surrendered in the preced- 
ing April, more than fifteen months elapsed before the Wash- 
ington authorities officially proclaimed the end of the Titanic 
struggle which left one-half of the nation prostrate and the 
other half burdened with new and untold responsibilities. By 
the opening of the year, however, one of the miracles of mod- 
ern history — the quiet and speedy return of the soldier to the 
vocations of peace — began, and soon some of those who had 
left for the front when the War broke out were to be seen again 
in our Southland, starting life anew. With them, too, came 
a few pioneers from the East, harbingers of an army soon to 
settle our valleys and seasides. All in all, the year was the 
beginning of a brighter era. 

Here it may not be amiss to take up the tale of the mimic 
war in which Phineas Banning and I engaged, in the little 
commercial world of Los Angeles, and to tell to what an extent 
the fortunes of my competitors were influenced, and how the 
absorption of the transportation charge from the seaboard 
caused their downfall. O. W. Childs, in less than three months, 
found the competition too severe and surrendered "lock, 
stock and barrel;" P. Beaudry, whose vain-glorious boast had 
stirred up this rumpus, sold out to me on January 1st, 1866, 
just a few months after his big talk. John Jones was the last 
to yield. 

In January, 1866, I bought out Banning, who was soon to 
take his seat in the Legislature for the advancing of his San 
Pedro Railroad project, and agreed to pay him, in the future, 
seven dollars and a half per ton for hauling my goods from 
Wilmington to Los Angeles, which was mutually satisfactory; 
and when we came to balance up, it was found that Banning 
had received, for his part in the enterprise, an amount equal 
to all that would otherwise have been charged for transportation 
and a tidy sum besides. 

Sam, brother of Kaspare Cohn, who had been in Carson 

354 Sixty Years in Southern California [1865- 

City, Nevada, came to Los Angeles and joined me. We 
grew rapidly, and in a short time became of some local impor- 
tance. When Kaspare sold out at Red Bluff, in January, 
1866, we tendered him a partnership. We were now three very 
busy associates, besides M. A. Newmark, who clerked for us. 

Several references have been made to the trade between 
Los Angeles and Arizona, due in part to the needs of the Army 
there. I remember that early in February not less than 
twenty-seven Government wagons were drawn up in front of 
H. Newmark & Company's store, to be loaded with seventy to 
seventy-five tons of groceries and provisions for troops in the 

Notwithstanding the handicaps in this wagon-train traffic, 
there was still much objection to railroads, especially to the plan 
for a line between Los Angeles and San Pedro, some of the 
strongest opposition coming from El IMonte where, in February, 
ranchers circulated a petition, disapproving railroad bills 
introduced by Banning into the Legislature. A common 
argument was that the railroad would do away with horses and 
the demand for barley ; and one wealthy citizen who succeeded 
in inducing many to follow his lead, vehemently insisted that 
two trains a month, for many years, would be all that could 
be expected! By 1874, however, not less than fifty to 
sixty freight cars were arriving daily in Los Angeles from 

Once more, in 1866, the Post Office was moved, this time to 
a building opposite the Bella Union hotel. There it remained 
until perhaps 1868, when it was transferred to the northwest 
corner of Main and Market streets. 

In the spring of 1866, the Los Angeles Board of Education 
was petitioned to establish a school where Spanish as well as 
English should be taught — probably the first step toward the 
introduction into public courses here of the now much-studied 

In noting the third schoolhouse, at the corner of San Pedro 
and Washington streets, I should not forget to say that Judge 
Dry den bought the lot for the City, at a cost of one hundred 

i866] H. Newmark & Co.— Carlisle-King Duel 355 

dollars. When the fourth school was erected, at the corner of 
Charity and Eighth streets, it was built on property secured 
for three hundred and fifty dollars by M. Kremer, who served 
on the School Board for nine years, from 1866, with Henry 
D. Barrows and William Workman. There, a few years ago, 
a brick building replaced the original wooden structure. Be- 
sides Miss Eliza Madigan, teachers of this period or later 
were the Misses Hattie and Frankie Scott, daughters of Judge 
Scott, the Misses Maggie Hamilton, Eula P. Bixby, Emma L. 
Hawkes, Clara M. Jones, H. K. Saxe and C. H. Kimball; a 
sister of Governor Downey, soon to become Mrs. Peter Martin, 
was also a public school teacher. 

Piped gas as well as water had been quite generally brought 
into private use shortly after their introduction, all pipes 
running along the surface of walls and ceilings, in neither a 
very judicious nor ornamental arrangement. The first gas- 
fixtures consisted of the old-fashioned, unornamented drops 
from the ceiling, connected at right angles to the cross-pipe, 
with its two plain burners, one at either end, forming an inverted 
T (vL) ; and years passed before artistic bronzes and globes, such 
as were displayed in profusion at the Centennial Exposition, 
were seen to any extent here. 

In September, Leon Loeb arrived in Los Angeles and 
entered the employ of S. Lazard & Company, later becoming 
a partner. When Eugene Meyer left for San Francisco on 
the first of January, 1884, resigning his position as French Con- 
sular Agent, Loeb succeeded him, both in that capacity and 
as head of the firm. After fifteen years' service, the French 
Government conferred upon Mr. Loeb the decoration of an 
Officer of the Academy. As Past Master of the Odd Fel- 
lows, he became in time one of the oldest members of Lodge 
No. 35. On March 23d, 1879, Loeb married my eldest daughter, 
Estelle; and on July 226., 191 1, he died. Joseph P. and Edwin 
J. Loeb, the attorneys and partners of Irving M. Walker, 
(son-in-law of Tomas Lorenzo Duque),* are sons of Leon Loeb. 

In the summer there came to Los Angeles from the North- 

• Died on April 6th, 1915. 

356 Sixty Years in Southern California [1865- 

ern part of California an educator who already had established 
there and in Wisconsin an excellent reputation as a teacher. 
This was George W. Burton, who was accompanied by his 
wife, a lady educated in France and Italy. With them they 
brought two assistants, a young man and a young woman, 
adding another young woman teacher after they arrived. 
The company of pedagogues made quite a formidable array; 
and their number permitted the division of the school — then on 
Main near what is now Second Street — into three departments : 
one a kind of kindergarten, another for young girls and a third 
for boys. The school grew and it soon became necessary to 
move the boys' department to the vestry-room of the little 
Episcopal Church on the corner of Teriiple and New High 

Not only was Burton an accomplished scholar and expe- 
rienced teacher, but Mrs. Burton was a linguist of talent and 
also proficient in both instrumental and vocal music. Our 
eldest children attended the Burton School, as did also those 
of many friends such as the Kremers, Whites, Morrises, 
Griffiths, the Volney Howards, Kewens, Scotts, Nichols, the 
Schumachers, Joneses and the Bannings. 

Daniel Bohen, another watchmaker and jeweler, came 
after Pyle, establishing himself, on September nth, on the 
south side of Commercial Street. He sold watches, clocks, 
jewelry and spectacles ; and he used to advertise with the figure 
of a huge watch. S. Nordlinger, who arrived here in 1868, 
bought Bohen out and continued the jewelry business during 
forty- two years, until his death in 191 1, when, as a pioneer 
jeweler, he was succeeded by Louis S. and Melville Nord- 
linger, who still use the title of S. Nordlinger 8c Sons. 

Charles C. Lips, a German, came to Los Angeles from 
Philadelphia in 1866 and joined the wholesale liquor firm of 
E. Martin &. Company, later Lips, Craigue & Company, in the 
Baker Block. As a volunteer fireman, he was a member of 
the old Thirty-Eights; a fact adding interest to the appoint- 
ment, on February 28th, 1905, of his son, Walter Lips, as Chief 
of the Los Angeles Fire Department. 

1866] H. Newmark & Co. — Carlisle-King Duel 357 

On October 3d, William Wolfskill died, mourned by many. 
Though but sixty-eight years of age, he had witnessed much in 
the founding of our great Southwestern commonwealth; and 
notwithstanding the handicaps to his early education, and the 
disappointments of his more eventful years, he was a man of 
marked intelligence and remained unembittered and kindly 
disposed toward his fellow-men. 

A good example of what an industrious man, following an 
ordinary trade, could accomplish in early days was afforded 
by Andrew Joughin, a blacksmith, who came here in 1866, a 
powerful son of the Isle of Man, measuring over six feet and 
tipping the beam at more than two hundred pounds. He had 
soon saved enough money to buy for five hundred dollars a 
large frontage at Second and Hill streets, selling it shortly 
after for fifteen hundred. From Los Angeles, Joughin went to 
Arizona and then to San Juan Capistrano, but was back here 
again in 1870, opening another shop. Toward the middle 
seventies, Joughin was making rather ingenious plows of iron 
and steel which attracted considerable attention. As fast as 
he accumulated a little money, he invested it in land, buying 
in 1874, for six thousand dollars, some three hundred and sixty 
acres comprising a part of one of the Cienega ranches^ to 
which he moved in 1876. Seven years later, he purchased three 
hundred and five acres once called the Tom Gray Ranch, now 
known by the more pretentious name of Arlington Heights. 
In 1888, three years after he had secured six hundred acres 
of the Palos Verdes rancho near Wilmington, the blacksmith 
retired and made a grand tour of Europe, revisiting his beloved 
Isle of Man. 

Pat Goodwin was another blacksmith, who reached Los 
Angeles in 1866 or 1867, shoeing his way, as it were, south 
from San Francisco, through San Jose, Whisky Flat and other 
picturesque places, in the service of A. O. Thorn, one of the 
stage-line proprietors. He had a shop first on Spring Street, 
where later the Empire Stables were opened, and afterward 
at the corner of Second and Spring streets, on the site in time 
bought by J. E. Hollenbeck. 

35^ Sixty Years in Southern California [1865-1866I 

Still another smith of this period was Henry King (brother 
of John King, formerly of the Bella Union), who in 1879-80 
served two terms as Chief of Police. Later, A. L. Bath was a 
well-known wheelwright who located his shop on Spring Street 
near Third. 

In 1866, quite a calamity befell this pueblo: the abandon- 
ment by the Government of Dnnn Barracks. As this had 
been one of the chief sources of revenue for our small com- 
munity, the loss was severely felt, and the immediate effect dis- 
astrous. About the same time, too, Samuel B. Caswell (father 
of W. M. Caswell, first of the Los Angeles Savings Bank and 
now of the Sccurity\ who had come to Los Angeles the year be- 
fore, took into partnership John F. Ellis, and under the title of 
Caswell »S: Ellis, they started a good-sized grocery and mer- 
chandise business; and between the competition that they 
brought and the reductioti of the circulating medium, times 
^^'ith H. Xewmark »!\: Conipaiiy became somewhat less pros- 
perous. Later, John H. Wright was added to the fimi, and 
it became Caswell, Ellis »S: Wright. On September ist, 1871, 
the firm dissolved. 



I 867- I 868 

THE reader may already have noted that more than one 
important move in my Hfc has been decided upon with 
but Httle previous deliberation. During August, 1866, 
while on the way to a family picnic at La Ballona, my brother 
suggested the advisability of opening an office for H. Newmark 
& Company in New York; and so quickly had I expressed my 
willingness to remove there that, when we reached the rancho, I 
announced to my wife that we would leave for the East as soon 
as we could get ready. Circumstances, however, delayed our 
going a few months. 

My family at this time consisted of my wife and four chil- 
dren; and together on January 29th, 1867, we left San Pedro for 
New York, by way of San Francisco and Panama, experiencing 
frightfully hot weather. Stopping at Acapulco, during Maxi- 
milian's revolution, we were summarily warned to keep away 
from the fort on the hill ; while at Panama yellow fever, spread 
by travelers recently arrived from South America, caused the 
Captain to beat a hasty retreat. SaiHng on the steamer Henry 
Chancey from Aspinwall, we arrived at New York on the sixth 
of March; and having domiciled my family comfortably, my 
next care was to establish an office on the third floor at 31 and 
33 Broadway, placing it in charge of M. J. Newmark, who 
had preceded me to the metropolis a year before. In a short 
time, I bought a home on Forty-ninth Street, between Sixth 
and Seventh avenues, then an agreeable residence district. An 


36o Sixty Years in Southern California [1867- 

intense longing to see my old home next induced me to return 
to Europe, and I sailed on ]\Iay i6th for Havre on the steam- 
propeller Union; the band playing The Highland Fling as the 
vessel left the pier. In mid-ocean, the sliip's propeller broke, 
and she completed the voyage under sail. Three months later, 
I returned on the Russia. The recollection of this journey 
gives me real satisfaction ; for had I not taken it then, I should 
never again have seen my father. On the twenty-first of the 
following November, or a few months after I last bade him 
good-bve, he died at Loebau, in the seventy-fifth year of his 
age. My mother had died in the summer of 1859. 

It was during this visit that, tarrs'ing for a week in the 
briUiant French capital, I saw the Paris Exposition, housed 
to a large extent in one immense building in the Champ de 
Mars. I was wonderfully impressed with both the city and the 
fair, as well as with the enterprising and artistic French people 
who had created it, although I was somewhat disappointed 
that, of the fifty thousand or more exhibitors represented, but 
seven hundred were Americans. 

One httle incident may be worth relating. While I was 
standing in the midst of the machinery' one day, the gendarmes 
suddenly began to force the crowd back, and on retreating with 
the rest, I saw a group of ladies and gentlemen approaching. 
It was soon whispered that they were the Empress Eugenie 
and her suite, and that we had been commanded to retire in 
order to permit her Majesty to get a better view of a new rail- 
road coach that she desired to inspect. 

Not long ago I was reading of a trying ordeal in the life 
of Elihu B. Washbume, American Minister to France, who, 
having unluckily removed his shoe at a Court dinner, was 
compelled to rise with the company on the sudden appearance 
of royalty, and to step back \\'ith a stockinged foot! The 
incident recalled an experience of my own in London. I had 
ordered from a certain shoemaker in Berlin a pair of patent- 
leather gaiters which I wore for the first time when I went to 
Covent Garden with an old friend and his wife. It was a very 
warm evening and the performance had not progressed far 

i868] Removal to New York, and Return 361 

before it became evident that the shoes were too small. I was, 
in fact, nearly overcome with pain, and in my desperation 
removed the gaiters (when the lights were low), quietly shoved 
them under the seat and sat out the rest of the performance 
with a fair degree of comfort and composure. Imagine my 
consternation, however, when I sought to put the shoes on 
again and found the operation almost impossible! The 
curtain fell while I was explaining and apologizing to my 
friends; and nearly every light was extinguished before I was 
ready to emerge from the famous opera house and limp to a 
waiting carriage. 

A trifling event also lingers among the memories of this 
revisit to my native place. While journeying towards Loebau 
in a stage, I happened to mention that I had married since 
settling in America; whereupon one of my fellow-passengers 
inquired whether my wife was white, brown or black? 

Major Ben C. Truman was President Johnson's private 
secretary until he was appointed, in 1866, special agent for the 
Post Office department on the Pacific Coast. He came to Los 
Angeles in February, 1867, to look after postal matters in 
Southern California and Arizona, but more particularly to 
reestablish, between Los Angeles and points in New Mexico, the 
old Butterfield Route which had been discontinued on account 
of the War. Truman opened post offices at a number of places 
in Los Angeles County. On December 8th, 1869, the Major 
married Miss Augusta Mallard, daughter of Judge J. S. 
Mallard. From July, 1873, until the late summer of 1877, he 
controlled the Los Angeles Star, contributing to its columns 
many excellent sketches of early life in Southern California, 
some of which were incorporated in one or more substantial 
volumes; and of all the pioneer journalists here, it is probable 
that none have surpassed this affable gentleman in brilliancy 
and genial, kindly touch. Among Truman's books is an illus- 
trated work entitled Semi-Tropical California, dedicated, with 
a Dominus vobiscum, to Phineas Banning and published in 
San Francisco, 1874; while another volume, issued seven years 
later, is devoted to Occidental Sketches. 

362 Sixty Years in Southern California [1867- 

A fire, starting in Bell's Block on Los Angeles Street, on 
July 13th, during my absence from the city, destroyed prop- 
erty to the value of sixty-four thousand dollars ; and the same 
season, S. Lazard & Company moved their dry goods store 
from Bell's Row to Wolfskill's building on Main Street, opposite 
the Bella Union hotel. 

Germain Pellissier, a Frenchman from the Hautes-Alpes, 
came to Los Angeles in August, and for twenty-eight years 
lived at what is now the corner of Seventh and Olive streets. 
Then the land was in the country; but by 1888, Pellissier had 
built the block that bears his name. On settling here, Pellissier 
went into sheep-raising, scattering stock in Kern and Ventura 
counties, and importing sheep from France and Australia in 
order to improve his breed ; and from one ram alone in a year, 
as he demonstrated to some doubting challengers, he clipped 
sixty-two and a half pounds of wool. 

P. Beaudry began to invest in hill property in 1867, at once 
improving the steep hillside of New High Street, near Sonora 
Town, which he bought in, at sheriff's sale, for fifty-five dollars. 
Afterward, Beaudry purchased some twenty acres between 
Second, Fourth, Charity and Hill streets, for which he paid 
five hundred and seventeen dollars ; and when he had subdivided 
this into eighty lots, he cleared about thirty thousand dollars. 
Thirty-nine acres, between Fourth and Sixth, and Pearl and 
Charity streets, he finally disposed of at a profit, it is said, of 
over fifty thousand dollars. 

John G. Downey having subdivided Nieto's rancho, Santa 
Gertrudis, the little town of Downey, which he named, soon 
enjoyed such a boom that sleepy Los Angeles began to sit up 
and take notice. Among the early residents was E. M. Sanford, 
a son-in-law of General John W. Gordon, of Georgia. A short 
time before the founding of Downey, a small place named 
Galatin had been started near by, but the flood of 1868 caused 
our otherwise dry rivers to change their courses, and Galatin was 
washed away. This subdividing at once stimulated the com- 
ing of land and home-seekers, increased the spirit of enterprise 
and brought money into circulation. 

18681 Removal to New York, and Return 363 

Soon afterward, Phineas Banning renewed the agitation to 
connect Los Angeles with Wilmington by rail. He petitioned 
the County to assist the enterprise, but the larger taxpayers, 
backed by the over-conservative farmers, still opposed 
the scheme, tooth and nail, until it finally took all of Ban- 
ning's influence to carry the project through to a successful 

George S. Patton, whose father, Colonel Patton of the 
Confederate Army, was killed at Winchester, September 19th, 
1864, is a nephew of Andrew Glassell and the oldest of 
four children who came to Los Angeles with their mother 
and her father, Andrew Glassell, Sr., in 1867. Educated in 
the public schools of Los Angeles, Patton afterward attended 
the Virginia Military Institute, where Stonewall Jackson 
had been a professor, returning to Los Angeles in September, 
1877, when he entered the law firm of Glassell, Smith & 
Patton. In 1884, he married Miss Ruth, youngest daughter 
of B. D. Wilson, after which he retired to private life. One of 
Patton's sisters married Tom Brown; another sister became the 
wife of the popular physician, Dr. W. Le Moyne Wills. In 
1 87 1, his mother, relict of Colonel George S. Patton, married 
her kinsman, Colonel George H. Smith. 

John Moran, Sr., conducted a vineyard on San Pedro Street 
near the present Ninth, in addition to which he initiated the 
soda-water business here, selling his product at twenty-five 
cents a bottle. Soda water, however, was too "soft" a drink 
to find much favor and little was done to establish the trade 
on a firm basis until 1867, when H. W. Stoll, a German, drove 
from Colorado to California and organized the Los Angeles Soda 
Water Works. As soon as he began to manufacture the 
aerated beverages, Stevens & Wood set up the first soda- 
water fountain in Los Angeles, on North Spring Street near 
the Post Office. After that, bubbling water and strangely- 
colored syrups gained in popularity until, in 1876, quite an 
expensive fountain was purchased by Preuss & Pironi's drug 
store, on Spring Street opposite Court. And what is more, 
they brought in hogsheads from Saratoga what would be dif- 

364 Sixty Years in Southern California [1867- 

ficult to find in all Los Angeles to-day: Congress, Vichy and 
Kissingen waters. Stoll, by the way, in 1873, married Fraulein 
Louisa Behn, daughter of John Behn. 

An important industry of the late sixties and early seventies 
was the harvesting of castor beans, then growing wild along the 
zanjas. They were shipped to San Francisco for manufacturing 
purposes, the oil factories there both supplying the ranchmen 
with seed and pledging themselves to take the harvest when 
gathered. In 1867, a small castor-oil mill was set up here. 

The chilicothe — derived, according to Charles F. Lummis, 
from the Aztec, chilacayote, the wild cucumber, or echinocystes 
fabacea — is the name of a plaything supplied by diversified na- 
ture, which grew on large vines, especially along the slope 
leading down to the river on what is now Elysian Park, and in 
the neighborhood of the hills adjacent to the Mallard and 
Nichols places. Four or five of these chilicothes, each shaped 
much like an irregular marble, came in a small burr or gourd ; 
and to secure them for games, the youngsters risked limb, 
if not life, among the trees and rocks. Small circular holes 
were sometimes cut into the nuts; and after the meat, which 
was not edible, had been extracted, the empty shells were 
strung together like beads and presented, as necklaces and 
bracelets, to sisters and sweethearts. 

Just about the time when I first gazed upon the scattered 
houses of our little pueblo, the Pacific Railway Expedition, sent 
out from Washington, prepared and published a tinted litho- 
graph sketch of Los Angeles, now rather rare. In 1867, Stephen 
A. Rendall, an Englishman of Angora goat fame, who had been 
here, off and on, as a photographer, devised one of the first 
large panoramas of Los Angeles, which he sold by advance 
subscription. It was made in sections; and as the only view 
of that year extant, it also has become notable as an historical 

Surrounded by his somewhat pretentious gallery and his 
mysterious darkroom on the top floor of Temple's new block, 
V. Wolfenstein also took good, bad and indifferent photo- 
graphs, having arrived here, perhaps, in the late sixties, and 

i868] Removal to New York, and Return 365 

remaining a decade or more, until his return to his native 
Stockholm where I again met him. He operated with slow 
wet-plates, and pioneers will remember the inconvenience, 
almost tantamount to torture, to which the patron was sub- 
jected in sitting out an exposure. The children of pioneers, 
too, will recall his magic, revolving stereoscope, filled with 
fascinating views at which one peeped through magnifying 

Louis Lewin must have arrived here in the late sixties. 
Subsequently, he bought out the stationery business of W. J. 
Brodrick, and P. Lazarus, upon his arrival from Tucson in 1874, 
entered into partnership with him; Samuel Hellman, as was 
not generally known at the time, also having an interest in the 
firm which was styled Louis Lewin & Company. When the 
Centennial of the United States was celebrated here in 1876, a 
committee wrote a short historical sketch of Los Angeles; and 
this was published by Lewin & Company. Now the firm is known 
as the Lazarus Stationery Company, P. Lazarus' being Presi- 
dent. Lewin and Lazarus married into families of pioneers: 
Mrs. Lewin is a daughter of S. Lazard, while Mrs. Lazarus is a 
daughter of M. Kremer. Lewin died at Manilla on April 5th, 

On November i8th, the Common Council contracted with 
Jean Louis Sainsevain to lay some five thousand feet of two- 
and three-inch iron pipe at a cost of about six thousand dollars 
in scrip ; but the great flood of that winter caused Sainsevain so 
many failures and losses that he transferred his lease, in the 
spring or summer of 1868, to Dr. J. S. Griffin, Prudent Beaudry, 
and Solomon Lazard, who completed Sainsevain 's contract 
with the City. 

Dr. Griffin and his associates then proposed to lease the 
water-works from the City for a term of fifty years, but soon 
changed this to an offer to buy. When the matter, came up 
before the Council for adoption, there was a tie vote, where- 
upon Murray Morrison, just before resigning as President of 
the Council, voted in the affirmative, his last official act being 

'Died on September 30th, 1914. 

366 Sixty Years in Southern California [1867- 

to sign the franchise. Mayor Aguilar, however, vetoed the 
ordinance, and then Dr. Griffin and his colleagues came forward 
with a new proposition. This was to lease the works for a 
period of thirty years, and to pay fifteen hundred dollars a year 
in addition to performing certain things promised in the pre- 
ceding proposition. 

At this stage of the negotiations, John Jones made a 
rival offer, and P. McFadden, who had been an unsuccess- 
ful bidder for the Sainsevain lease, tried with Juan Bernard 
to enter into a twenty-year contract. Notwithstanding these 
other offers, however, the City authorities thought it best, 
on July 22d, 1868, to vote the franchise to Dr. Griffin, S. 
Lazard and P. Beaudry, who soon transferred their thirty- 
year privileges to a corporation known as the Los Angeles City 
Water Company, in which they became trustees. Others 
associated in this enterprise were Eugene Meyer, I. W. Hell- 
man, J. G. Downey, A. J. King, Stephen Hathaway Mott — 
Tom's brother — W. H. Perry and Charles Lafoon. A spirited 
fight followed the granting of the thirty-year lease, but the 
water company came out victorious. 

In the late sixties, when the only communities of much con- 
sequence in Los Angeles County were Los Angeles, Anaheim 
and Wilmington, the latter place and Anaheim Landing were 
the shipping ports of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Arizona. 
At that time, or during some of the especially prosperous days 
of Anaheim, the slough at Anaheim Landing (since filled up by 
flood) was so formed, and of such depth, that heavily-loaded 
vessels ran past the warehouse to a considerable distance inland, 
and there unloaded their cargoes. At the same time the leading 
Coast steamers began to stop there. Not many miles away 
was the corn-producing settlement, Gospel Swamp. 

I have pointed out the recurring weakness in the wooden 
pipes laid by Sainsevain and Marchessault. This distressing 
difficulty, causing, as it did, repeated losses and sharp criticism 
by the public, has always been regarded as the motive for ex- 
Mayor Marchessault's death on January 20th, when he com- 
mitted suicide in the old City Council room. 

i868] Removal to New York, and Return 367 

Jacob Loew arrived in America in 1865 and spent three 
years in New York before he came to CaHfornia in 1868. Clerk- 
ing for a while in San Francisco, he went to the Old Town of 
San Diego, then to Galatin, and in 1872 settled in Downey; 
and there, in conjunction with Jacob Baruch, afterward of 
Haas, Baruch & Company, he conducted for years the princi- 
pal general merchandise business of that section. On coming to 
Los Angeles in 1883, he bought, as I have said, the Deming 
Mill now known as the Capitol Mills. Two years later, on the 
second of August, he was married to my daughter Emily. 

Dr. Joseph Kurtz, once a student at Giessen, arrived in Los 
Angeles on February 3d, with a record for hospital service at 
Baltimore during the Civil War, having been induced to come 
here by the druggist, Adolf Junge, with whom for a while he had 
some association. Still later he joined Dr. Rudolph Eichler in 
conducting a pharmacy. For some time prior to his graduation 
in medicine, in 1872, Dr. Kurtz had an office in the Lanfranco 
Building. For many years, he was surgeon to the Southern 
Pacific Railroad Company and consulting physician to the 
Santa Fe Railroad Company, and he also served as President 
of the Los Angeles College Clinical Association. I shall have 
further occasion to refer to this good friend. Dr. Carl Kurtz 
is distinguishing himself in the profession of his father. 

Hale fellow well met and always in favor with a large circle, 
was my Teutonic friend, Lewis Ebinger, who, after coming 
to Los Angeles in 1868,. turned clay into bricks. Perhaps this 
also recalled the days of his childhood when he made pies of the 
same material; but be that as it may, Lewis in the early 
seventies made his first venture in the bakery business, opening 
shop on North Spring Street. In the bustling Boom days 
when real estate men saw naught but the sugar-coating, 
Ebinger, who had moved to elaborate quarters in a building at 
the southwest corner of Spring and Third streets, was dispen- 
sing cream puffs and other baked delicacies to an enthusiastic 
and unusually large clientele. But since everybody then 
had money, or thought that he had, one such place was not 
enough to satisfy the ravenous speculators; with the result 

368 Sixty Years in Southern California [1867- 

that John Koster was soon conducting a similar establishment 
on Spring Street near Second, while farther north, on Spring 
Street near First, the Vienna Bakery ran both Lewis and John 
a merry race. 

Dr. L. W. French, one of the organizers of the Odontological 
Society of Southern California, also came to Los Angeles in 1868 
— so early that he found but a couple of itinerant dentists, who 
made their headquarters here for a part of the year and then 
hung out their shingles in other towns or at remote ranches. 

One day in the spring of 1868, while I was residing in New 
York City, I received a letter from Phineas Banning, accom- 
panied by a sealed communication, and reading about as follows: 

Dear Harris: 

Herewith I enclose to you a letter of the greatest im- 
portance, addressed to Miss Mary Hollister (daughter, as you 
know, of Colonel John H. Hollister), who will soon be on her 
way to New York, and who may be expected to arrive there by 
the next steamer. 

This letter I beg you to deliver to Miss Hollister personally, 
immediately upon her arrival in New York, thereby obliging 

Yours obediently, 

(Signed) Phineas Banning. 

The steamer referred to had not yet arrived, and I lost 
no time in arranging that I should be informed, by the company's 
agents, of the vessel's approach, as soon as it was sighted. 
This notification came, by the by, through a telegram received 
before daylight one bitterly cold morning, when I was told that 
the ship would soon be at the dock; and as quickly as I could, 
I procured a carriage, hastened to the wharf and, before any 
passengers had landed, boarded the vessel. There I sought 
out Miss Hollister, a charming lady, and gave her the 
mysterious missive. 

I thought no more of this matter until I returned to Los 
Angeles when, welcoming me back. Banning told me that the 
letter I had had the honor to deliver aboard ship in New York 
contained nothing less than a proposal of marriage, his solicita- 
tion of Miss Hollister's heart and hand! 

i868] Removal to New York, and Return 369 

One reason why the Bella Union played such an important 
role in the early days of Los Angeles, was because there was no 
such thing as a high-class restaurant ; indeed, the first recollec- 
tion I have of anything like a satisfactory place is that of Louis 
Vielle, known by some as French Louis and nicknamed by 
others Louis Gordo, or Louis the Fat. Vielle came to Los 
Angeles from Mexico, a fat, jolly little French caterer, not 
much over five feet in height and weighing, I should judge, 
two hundred and fifty pounds ; and this great bulk, supported 
as it was by two peg-like legs, rendered his appearance truly 
comical. His blue eyes, light hair and very rosy cheeks accen- 
tuated his ludicrous figure. Louis, who must have been about 
fifty-four years of age when I first met him, then conducted his 
establishment in John Lanfranco's building on Main Street, 
between Commercial and Requena; from which fact the place 
was known as the Lanfranco, although it subsequently received 
the more suggestive title, the What Cheer House. Louis was 
an acknowledged expert in his art, but he did not always choose 
to exert himself. Nevertheless his lunches, for which he 
charged fifty or seventy-five cents, according to the number of 
dishes served, were well thought of, and it is certain that Los 
Angeles had never had so good a restaurant before. At one 
time, our caterer's partner was a man named Frederico Guiol, 
whom he later bought out. Louis could never master the 
English language, and to his last day spoke with a strong 
French accent. His florid cheeks were due to the enormous 
quantity of claret consumed both at and between meals. He 
would mix it with soup, dip his bread into it and otherwise 
absorb it in large quantities. Indeed, at the time of his fatal 
illness, while he was living with the family of Don Louis Sain- 
sevain, it was assumed that over-indulgence in wine was the 
cause. Be that as it may, he sickened and died, passing away 
at the Lanfranco home in 1872. Vielle had prospered, but 
during his sickness he spent largely of his means. After his 
death, it was discovered that he had been in the habit of hiding 
his coin in little niches in the wall of his room and in other 
secret places ; and only a small amount of the money was found. 

370 Sixty Years in Southern California [1867- 

A few of the real pioneers recollect Louis Gordo as one who 
added somewhat to the comfort of those who then patronized 
restaurants ; while others will associate him with the introduction 
here of the first French dolls, to take the place of rag-babies. 

Both Judge Robert Maclay Widney and Dr. Joseph P. 
Widney, the surgeon, took up their residence in Los Angeles in 
1868. R. M. Widney set out from Ohio about 1855 and, having 
spent two years in exploring the Rockies, worked for a while in 
the Sacramento \^alley, where he chopped wood for a living, and 
finally reached Los Angeles with a small trunk and about a 
hundred dollars in cash. Here he opened a law and real-estate 
office and started printing the Real Estate Advertiser. Dr. 
Widney crossed the Continent in 1862, spent two years as sur- 
geon in the United States Army in Arizona, after which he 
proceeded to Los Angeles and soon became one of the charter 
members of the Los Angeles Medical Society, exerting himself 
in particular to extend Southern California's climatic fame. 

I have spoken of the ice procured from the San Bernardino 
mountains in rather early days, but I have not said that in 
summer, when we most needed the cooling commodity, there 
was none to be had. The enterprising firm of Queen & Gard, 
the first to arrange for regular shipments of Truckee River ice 
in large quantities by steamer from the North, announced their 
purpose late in March, 1868, of building an ice house on Main 
Street ; and about the first of April they began delivering daily, 
in a large and substantial wagon especially constructed for that 
purpose and which, for the time being, was an object of much 
curiosity. Liberal support was given the enterprise; and per- 
haps it is no wonder that the perspiring editor of the News, 
going into ecstasies because of a cooling sample or two deposited 
in his office, said, in the next issue of his paper: 

The founding of an ice depot is another step forward in the 
progress that is to make us a great City. We have Water and 
Gas, and now we are to have the additional luxury of Ice ! 

Banning's fight for the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad 
has been touched upon more than once. Tomlinson, his rival, 

Dr. Truman H, Rose 

Andrew Glassell 

Dr. Vincent Gelcich 

Charles E. Miles, in Uniform of 38's 




Sfefeg S':^!xte-^<fefe 



Facsimile of Stock Certificate, Pioneer Oil Co. 

_ ■ _ _ _ "- ... 7yi!^-^:^ii 

American Bakery, Jake Kuhrts's Building, about 1880 

i868] Removal to New York, and Return 371 

opposed the project; but his sudden death, about two weeks 
before the election in 1868, removed one of the serious obstacles. 
When the vote was taken, on March 24th, as to whether the 
City and County should bond themselves to encourage the build- 
ing of the railroad, seven hundred votes were cast in favor of, 
and six hundred and seventy-two votes against, the under- 
taking, leaving Banning and his associates ready to go ahead. 
By the way, as a reminder of the quondam vogue of Spanish 
here, it may be noted that the proclamation regarding the rail- 
road, published in 1868, was printed in both English and 

On May i6th, Henry Hamilton, whose newspaper, the Star, 
during part of the War period had been suspended through 
the censorship of the National Government, again made his 
bow to the Los Angeles public, this time in a half-facetious 
leader in which he referred to the "late unpleasantness" in 
the family circle. Hamilton's old-time vigor was immediately 
recognized, but not his former disposition to attack and criticize. 

Dr. H. S. Orme, once President of the State Board of Health 
of California, arrived in Los Angeles on July 4th and soon 
became as prominent in Masonic as in medical circles. Dr. 
Harmon, an early successor to Drs. Griffin and Den, first settled 
here in 1868, although he had previously visited California in 


Carl Felix Heinzeman, at one time a well-known chemist and 
druggist, emigrated from Germany in 1868 and came direct 
to Los Angeles, where after succeeding J. B. Saunders & Com- 
pany, he continued, in the Lanfranco Building, what grew to be 
the largest drug store south of San Francisco. Heinzeman died 
on April 29th, 1903. About the same period, a popular apothe- 
cary shop on Main Street, near the Plaza, was known as 
Chevalier's. In the seventies, when hygiene and sanitation were 
given more attention, a Welshman named Hughes conducted 
a steam-bath establishment on Main Street, almost opposite 
the Baker Block, and the first place of its kind in the city. 

Charles F. Harper' of Mississippi, and the father of ex- 

' Died on September 13th, 191 5. 

372 Sixty Years in Southern California [1867- 

Mayor Harper, in 1868 opened with R. H. Dal ton a hardware 
store in the Allen Block, corner of Spring and Temple streets, 
thus forerunning Coulter & Harper, Harper & Moore, Harper, 
Reynolds & Company and the Harper-Reynolds Company. 

Michel Levy, an Alsatian, arrived in San Francisco when 
but seventeen years of age, and after various experiences in 
California and Nevada towns, he came to Los Angeles in 1868, 
soon establishing, with Joe Coblentz, the w^holesale liquor house 
of Levy & Coblentz. The latter left here in 1879, and Levy 
continued under the firm name of M. Levy & Company until 
his death in 1905. 

Anastacio Cardenas, a dwarf who weighed but one and 
a half pounds when born, came to Los Angeles in 1867 and 
soon appeared before the public as a singer and dancer. He 
carried a sword and was popularly dubbed "General." A 
brother, Ruperto, long lived here. 

When the Canal & Reservoir Company was organized with 
George Hansen as President and J. J. Warner as Secretary, 
P. Beaudry contributed heavily to construct a twenty-foot dam 
across the canon, below the present site of Echo Park, and a 
ditch leading down to Pearl Street. This first turned atten- 
tion to the possibilities in the hill-lands to the West; and in 
return, the City gave to the company a large amount of land, 
popularly designated as canal and reservoir property. 

In 1868, when there was still not a three-story house in Los 
Angeles, James Alvinza Hayward, a San Franciscan, joined 
John G. Downey in providing one hundred thousand dollars with 
which to open, in the old Downey Block on the site of the 
Temple adobe, the first bank in Los Angeles, under the firm 
name of Hayward & Company. The lack of business afforded 
this enterprise short shrift and they soon retired. In July of 
the same year, I. W. Hellman, William Workman, F. P. F. 
Temple and James R. Toberman started a bank, with a capital 
of one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, under the title 
of Hellman, Temple & Company, Hellman becoming manager. 

I do not remember when postal lock-boxes were first brought 
into use, but I do recollect that in the late sixties Postmaster 

i868] Removal to New York, and Return 373 

Clarke had a great deal of trouble collecting quarterly rents, 
and that he finally gave notice that boxes held by delinquents 
would thereafter be nailed up. 

A year or two after the Burtons had established themselves 
here, came another pedagogue in the person of W. B. Lawlor, 
a thick-set, bearded man with a flushed complexion, who 
opened a day-school called the Lawlor Institute; and after the 
Burtons left here to settle at Portland, Oregon, where Burton 
became headmaster of an academy for advanced students, 
many of his former pupils attended Lawlor's school. The 
two institutions proved quite different in type: the Burton 
training had tended strongly to languages and literature, while 
Lawlor, who was an adept at short-cut methods of calculation, 
placed more stress on arithmetic and commercial education. 
Burton, who returned to Los Angeles, has been for years a 
leading member of the Times editorial staff, and Burton's Book 
on California and its Sunlit Skies is one of this author's contri- 
butions to Pacific Coast literature ; his wife, however, died many 
years ago. Lawlor, who was President of the Common Council 
in 1880, is also dead. 

The most popular piano-teacher of about that time was 
Professor Van Gilpin. 

William Pridham came to Los Angeles in August, having 
been transferred from the San Francisco office of Wells Fargo 
& Company, in whose service as pony rider, clerk at Austin, 
Nevada, and at Sacramento, and cashier in the Northern me- 
tropolis he had been for some ten years. Here he succeeded 
Major J. R. Toberman, when the latter, after long service, 
resigned; and with a single office-boy, at one time little Joe 
Binford, he handled all the business committed to the com- 
pany's charge. John Osborn was the outside expressman. 
Then most of the heavy express matter from San Francisco was 
carried by steamers, but letters and limited packages of moment 
were sent by stage. With the advent of railroads, Pridham 
was appointed by Wells Fargo & Company Superintendent of 
the Los Angeles district. On June 12th, 1880, he married Miss 
Mary Esther, daughter of Colonel John O. Wheeler, and later 

374 Sixty Years in Southern California [1867- 

moved to Alameda. Now, after fifty-one years of association 
with the express business, Pridham still continues to be 
officially connected with the Wells Fargo company. 

Speaking of that great organization, reminds me that it con- 
ducted for years a mail-carrying business. Three-cent stamped 
envelopes, imprinted with Wells Fargo & Company's name, 
were sold to their patrons for ten cents each; and to com- 
pensate for this bonus, the Company delivered the letters en- 
trusted to them perhaps one to two hours sooner than did the 

This recalls to me a familiar experience on the arrival of the 
mail from the North. Before the inauguration of a stage-line, 
the best time in the transmission of mail matter between San 
Francisco and Los Angeles was made by water, and Wells 
Fargo messengers sailed with the steamers. Immediately upon 
the arrival of the boat at San Pedro, the messenger boarded 
the stage, and as soon as he reached Los Angeles, pressed on 
to the office of the Company, near the Bella Union, where he 
delivered his bagful of letters. The steamer generally got in by 
five o'clock in the morning; and many a time, about seven, 
have I climbed Signal or Pound Cake Hill — higher in those days 
than now, and affording in clear weather a view of both ocean 
and the smoke of the steamer — upon whose summit stood a 
house, used as a signal station, and there watched for the rival 
stages, the approach of which was indicated by clouds of dust. 
I would then hurry with many others to the Express Company's 
office where, as soon as the bag was emptied, we would all help 
ourselves unceremoniously to the mail. 

In August, General Edward Bouton, a Northern Army 
officer, came to Los Angeles and soon had a sheep ranch on 
Boyle Heights — a section then containing but two houses; and 
two years later he camped where Whittier now lies. In 1874, ^^ 
bought land for pasture in the San Jacinto Valley, and for 
years owned the ocean front at Alamitos Bay from Devil's Gate 
to the Inlet, boring artesian wells there north of Long Beach. 

Louis Robidoux, who had continued to prosper as a ranchero, 
died in 1868 at the age of seventy-seven years. 

1868] Removal to New York, and Return 375 

With the usual flourish of spades, if not of trumpets, ground 
was broken for the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad at 
Wilmington on September 19th, and toward the end of 
November, the rails had been laid about a mile out from 

The last contract for carrying the Overland Mail was given 
to Wells Fargo & Company on October ist and pledged a 
round remuneration of one million, seven hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars per annum, while it also permitted passengers 
and freight to be transported ; but the Company came to have a 
great deal of competition. Phineas Banning, for example, had 
a stage-line between Los Angeles and Yuma, in addition to which 
mail and passengers were carried in buckboards, large wagons 
and jerkies. Moreover there was another stage-line between 
Tucson and El Paso, and rival stage-lines between El Paso and 
St. Louis; and in consequence, the Butterfield service was 
finally abandoned. 

This American vehicle, by the by, the jerky, was so named 
for the very good reason that, as the wagon was built without 
springs, it jerked the rider around unmercifully. Boards were 
laid across the wagon-box or bed for seats, accommodating 
four passengers ; and some space was provided in the back for 
baggage. To maintain one's position in the bumping, squeak- 
ing vehicle at all, was difficult; while to keep one's place on the 
seat approached the impossible. 

Of the various Los Angeles roadways in 1868, West 
Sixth Street was most important in its relation to travel. 
Along this highway the daily Overland stages entered and 
departed from the city; and by this route came all the Havilah, 
Lone Pine, Soledad and Owens River trade, as well as that of 
the Ballona and Cienega districts. Sixth Street also led to the 
Fair Grounds, and over its none too even surface dashed most 
of the sports and gallants on their way to the race course. 

I have said that I returned to New York, in 1867, presum- 
ably for permanent residence. Soon after I left Los Angeles, 
however, Samuel Cohn became desperately ill, and the sole 
management of H. Newmark & Company suddenly devolved 

376 Sixty Years in Southern California [1867- 

on Sam's brother Kaspare. This condition of affairs grew so 
bad that my return to Los Angeles became imperative. Ac- 
cordingly, leaving my family, I took passage on October 31st, 
1868, for San Francisco, and returned to Los Angeles without 
delay. Then I wired my wife to start with the children for the 
Coast, and to have the furniture, including a Chickering grand 
piano, just purchased, shipped after them; and when they 
arrived, we once more took possession of the good old adobe 
on Main Street, where we lived contentedly until 1874. This 
piano, by the way, which came by freight around Cape Horn, 
was one of the first instruments of the kind seen here, John 
Schumacher having previously bought one. While we were 
living in New York, Edward J. Newmark, my wife's brother, 
died here on February 17 th, 1868. 

Before I left for New York, hardly anything had been done, 
in subdividing property, save perhaps by the Lugos and 
Downey, and at Anaheim and Wilmington. During the time 
that I was away, however, newspapers and letters from home 
indicated the changes going on here; and I recall what an 
impression all this made upon me. On my way down from 
San Francisco on Captain Johnson's Orizaba in December — 
about the same time that the now familiar locomotive San 
Gabriel reached Wilmington — land-agents were active and 
people were talking a great deal about these subdivisions ; and 
by the time I reached Los Angeles I, too, was considerably 
stirred up over the innovations and as soon as possible 
after my return hastened out to see the change. The im- 
provements were quite noticeable, and among other alterations 
surprising me were the houses people had begun to build on the 
approaches to the western hills. I was also to learn that 
there was a general demand for property all over the city, 
Colonel Charles H. Larrabee, City Attorney in 1868, especially 
having bought several hundred feet on Spring and Fort streets. 
Later, I heard of the experiences of other Angeleiios aboard 
ship who were deluged with circulars advertising prospective 

To show the provincial character of Los Angeles fifty years 

i868] Removal to New York, and Return zil 

ago, I will add an anecdote or two. While I was in New York, 
members of my family reported by letter, as a matter of ex- 
traordinary interest, the novelty of a silver name-plate on a 
neighboring front door; and when I was taken to inspect it, a 
year later, I saw the legend, still novel : 

Ovm. a^</ Qn^. (guaene Q/fcenei 

In the metropolis I had found finger-bowls in common use, 
and having brought back with me such a supply as my family 
would be likely to need, I discovered that it had actually fallen 
to my lot to introduce these desirable conveniences into Los 

William Ferguson was an arrival of 1868, having come 
to settle up the business of a brother and remaining to open a 
livery stable on North Main Street near the Plaza, which he 
conducted for ten years. Investing in water company stock, 
Ferguson abandoned his stable to make water-pipes, a couple 
of years later, perhaps, than J. F. Holbrook had entered the 
same field. Success enabled Ferguson to build a home at 303 
South Hill Street, where he found himself the only resident 
south of Third. 

This manufacture here of water pipe recalls a cordial ac- 
quaintance with William Lacy, Sr., an Englishman, who was 
interested with William Rowland in developing the Puente oil 
fields. His sons, William, Jr., and Richard H., originators of 
the Lacy Manufacturing Company, began making pipe and 
tanks a quarter of a century ago. 

C. R. Rinaldi started a furniture business here in 1868, 
opening his store almost opposite the Stearns's home on North 
Main Street. Before long he disposed of an interest to Charles 
Dotter, and then, I think, sold out to I. W. Lord and moved to 
the neighborhood of the San Fernando Mission. About the same 
time, Sidney Lacey, who arrived in 1870 and was a popular 
clerk with the pioneer carpet and wall-paper house of Smith 
& Walter, commenced what was to be a long association with 
this establishment. In 1876, C. H. Bradley bought out Lord, 

37^ Sixty Years in Southern California [1867-1868I 

and the firm of Dotter & Bradley, so well known to householders 
of forty years ago, came into existence. In 1884, H. H. Mark- 
ham (soon to be Congressman and then Governor of the State) , 
with General E. P. Johnson bought this concern and organized 
the Los Angeles Furniture Company, whose affairs since 1910, 
(when her husband died), have been conducted by the 
President, Mrs. Katherine Fredericks. 

Conrad Hafen, a German-Swiss, reached Los Angeles in 
December, 1868, driving a six-horse team and battered wagon 
with which he had braved the privations of Death Valley; and 
soon he rented a little vineyard, two years later buying for the 
same purpose considerable acreage on what is now Central 
Avenue. Rewarded for his husbandry with some affluence, 
Hafen built both the old Hafen House and the new on South 
Hill Street, once a favorite resort for German arrivals. He re- 
tired in 1905. 



IT was early in 1869 that I was walking down Spring Street 
one day and saw a crowd at the City Hall. On a large box 

stood Mayor Joel H. Turner, and just as I arrived a man 
leaning against the adobe wall called out, "Seven dollars!" 
The Mayor then announced the bid — for an auction was in 
progress — " Seven dollars once, seven dollars twice, seven dollars 
three times!" and as he raised his hand to conclude the sale, I 
called out, "A half!" This I did in a spirit of fun; in fact, I 
did not even know what was being offered! "Seven dollars 
fifty once, seven dollars fifty twice, seven dollars fifty three 
times, and sold — to Harris Newmark!" called the Mayor. I 
then inquired what I had bought, and was shown the location 
of about twenty acres, a part of nine hundred being sold by 
the City at prices ranging from five to ten dollars an acre. 

The piece purchased was west of the city limits, and I kept 
it until 1886 when I had almost forgotten that I was the owner. 
Then George Williamson, one of the first salesmen of H. 
Newmark & Company, who became a boomer of the period, 
bought it from me for ten thousand dollars and resold it within 
two weeks for fourteen thousand, the Sunset Oil Company 
starting there, as the land was within what was known as the 
oil district. Since the opening of streets in all directions, I have 
lost trace of this land, but incline to the behef that it lies in 
the immediate vicinity of the Wilshire district. 

My experience reminds me of Colonel John O. Wheeler's 


380 Sixty Years in Southern California Ixseg 

investment in fifty or sixty acres at what is now Figueroa and 
Adams streets. Later, going to San Francisco as a Customs 
officer, he forgot about his purchase until one day he received 
a somewhat surprising offer. 

On January ist, A. J. King and R. H. Offutt began to pub- 
lish a daily edition of the News, hitherto a semi-weekly, making 
it strongly Democratic. There was no Sunday issue and 
twelve dollars was the subscription. On October i6th, Offutt 
sold his interest to Alonzo Waite, and the firm became King 
& Waite. In another year King had retired. 

How modest was the status of the Post Office in 1869 may 
be gathered from the fact that the Postmaster had only one 
assistant, a boy, both together receiving fourteen hundred 
dollars in greenbacks, worth but a thousand dollars in gold. 

Henry Hammel, for years connected with the Bella Union, 
and a partner named Bremerman leased the United States 
Hotel on February ist from Louis Mesmer; and in March, John 
King succeeded Winston & King as manager of the Bella Union. 
King died in December, 1871. 

In the winter of 1868-69, when heavy rains seriously 
interfered with bringing in the small supply of lumber at San 
Pedro, a cooperative society was proposed, to insure the 
importation each summer of enough supplies to tide the com- 
munity over during the wintry weather. Over one hundred 
persons, it was then estimated, had abandoned building, and 
many others were waiting for material to complete fences 
and repairs. 

Thanks to Contractor H. B. Tichenor's vigor in constructing 
the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad, public interest in the 
venture, by the beginning of 1869, had materially increased. 
In 'January, a vessel arrived with a locomotive and a steam 
pile-driver; and a few days later a schooner sailed into San 
Pedro with ties, sleepers and rails enough for three miles of the 
track. Soon, also, the locomotive was running part of the way. 
The wet winter made muddy roads, and this led to the pro- 
posal to lay the tracks some eight or ten miles in the direction of 
Los Angeles, and there to transfer the freight to wagons. 

i869i The Cerro Gordo Mines 381 

Stearns Hall and the Plaza were amusement places in 1869. 
At the latter, in January, the so-called Paris Exposition Circus 
held forth ; while Joe Murphy and Maggie Moore, who had just 
favored the passengers on the Orizaba, on coming south from 
San Francisco, with a show, trod the hall's more classic boards. 

Ice a quarter of an inch thick was formed here for several 
days during the third week in January, and butchers found 
it so difficult to secure fat cattle that good beef advanced to 
sixteen and a quarter cents a pound. 

On January 20th, I purchased from Eugene Meyer the 
southern half of lots three and four in block five, fronting on 
Fort Street between Second and Third, formerly owned by 
William Buffum and J. F. Burns. Meyer had paid one thou- 
sand dollars for one hundred and twenty feet front and three 
hundred and thirty feet depth; and when I bought half of this 
piece for one thousand dollars, it was generally admitted that I 
had paid all that it was worth. 

Isaac Lankershim — father of J. B. Lankershim and Mrs. 
I. N, Van Nuys — who first visited Calif oma in 1854, came from 
San Francisco in 1869 and bought, for one hundred and fifteen 
thousand dollars, part of Andres Pico's vSan Fernando rancho, 
which he stocked with sheep, Levi Strauss & Company, 
Scholle Brothers, L. and M. Sachs & Company of San Francisco 
and others, were interested in this partnership, then known as 
the San Fernando Farm Association; but Lankershim was 
in control until about one year later, when Isaac Newton Van 
Nuys arrived from Monticello, where he had been merchan- 
dising, and was put permanently in charge of the ranch. At this 
period Lankershim lived there, for he had not yet undertaken 
milling in Los Angeles. A little later, Lankershim and Van 
Nuys successfully engaged in the raising of wheat, cultivating 
nearly sixty thousand acres, and consigning some of their har- 
vests to Liverpool. This fact recalls a heavy loss in the spring 
of 1 88 1, when the Parisian, which left Wilmington under Cap- 
tain Reaume, foundered at sea with nearly two hundred and 
fifty tons of wheat and about seventy-five tons of flour belong- 
ing to them. 

382 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

J. B. Lankershim, owner of the well-known hotel bearing 
his name, after the death of his father made some very im- 
portant investments in Los Angeles real estate, including the 
northwest corner of Broadway and Seventh Street, now occu- 
pied by the building devoted to Bullock's department store. 

M. N. Newmark, a nephew of mine and President of the 
Newmark Grain Company, arrived in 1869, and clerked for H. 
Newmark & Company until 1871, in which year he established 
a partnership with S. Grand in Compton, selling general mer- 
chandise. This partnership lasted until 1878, when Newmark 
bought out Grand. He finally disposed of the business in 1889 
and, with D. K. Edwards, organized the firm of Newmark & 
Edwards. In 1895 Edwards sold out his interest. 

Victor Ponet, a native of Belgium, and once Belgian Con- 
sul here, while traveling around the world, landed in Califor- 
nia in 1867 and two years later came to Los Angeles. 
Attracted by the climate and Southern California's possible 
future, Ponet settled here, engaging first in the pioneer man- 
ufacture and importation of mirrors and picture frames ; and 
before his retirement to live in Sherman, he had had experience 
both as undertaker and banker. ' 

In 1869, General W. S. Rosecrans came south in the interest 
of the proposed San Diego & Gila Railroad, never constructed. 
The General, as a result, took up land around Sausal Redondo, 
and there by the summer of 1869 so many people (who insisted 
that Rosecrans had appropriated public land) had squatted, 
that he was put to no end of trouble in ejecting them. 

Though I have witnessed most of the progress in Southern 
California, it is still difficult to realize that so much could have 
been accomplished within the life-time of one man. During 
1868-69 only twenty- two hundred boxes of oranges were 
shipped from Los Angeles, while the Southern counties' crop of 
oranges and lemons for 1913-14 is estimated, I am told, at 
about twelve million boxes! 

Due to the eight-day shindy marking the celebration of 
the Chinese New Year, demand for a more concentrated rumpus 

^Died, February gth, 1914. 

1869] The Cerro Gordo Mines 383 

was voiced in February, 1869, threatening an agitation against 
John Chinaman. 

The same month, residents, wishing a school in which Ger- 
man should be taught, and a gymnasium, petitioned the Com- 
mon Council to acquire a lot in New High Street for the purpose. 

About 1869, the Los Angeles Social Club which, to the 
best of my recollection, was the first of its kind in the city, was 
organized, with headquarters in the earliest building erected by 
I. W. Hellman, at the northwest corner of Los Angeles and 
Commercial streets. Among other pioneer members were 
Captain Cameron E. Thorn, Tom Mott, Eugene Meyer, Sam 
and Charles Prager, Tom Rowan, I. W. and H. W. Hellman, 
S. Lazard, W. J. Brodrick, John Jones, Kaspare Cohn, A. C. 
Chauvin, M. and J . L. Morris, Leon Loeb, Sam Meyer, Dr. 
F.A. McDougal, B. Cohn and myself. Somewhat later, the 
Club moved to the east side of Los Angeles Street, between 
Commercial and Aliso. Still later, it dissolved; and although 
it did not become the direct ancestor of any of the several well- 
known social organizations in the Los Angeles of to-day, I feel 
that it should be mentioned as having had the honor of being 
their precursor and model. 

Speaking of social organizations, I may say that several 
Los Angeles clubs were organized in the early era of sympathy, 
tolerance and good feeling, when the individual was appreci- 
ated at his true worth and before the advent of men whose 
bigotry has sown intolerance and discord, and has made a 
mockery of both religion and professed ideals. 

It must have been early in the sixties that Alexander Bell 
sold the southern end of his property to H. Heinsch, the 
saddler. On February 23d, 1869, the directors of the San 
Pedro Railroad selected the Mike Madigan lot on Alameda 
Street, on a part of which the owner was conducting a livery- 
stable, as the site for the depot in Los Angeles ; and Heinsch 
having allowed the authorities to cut through his property, the 
extension of Commercial and Requena streets eastward from 
Los Angeles to Alameda was hastened. 

Late on February 14th, the news was circulated of a shock- 

384 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

ing tragedy in the billiard saloon of the Lafayette Hotel, and at 
once aroused intense regret, affecting, as the affair did, the 
standing and happiness of two well-known Los Angeles families. 
About eight o'clock, Charles Howard, a young lawyer of 
prominence and a son of Volney E. Howard, met Daniel B. 
Nichols, son of the ex-Alayor; and some dispute between them 
having reached its climax, both parties drew weapons and fired. 
Howard was killed and Nichols wounded, though not fatally, as 
was at first thought. The tragedy — the cause of which was 
never generally known — made a profound impression. 

The work of extending water mains along Fort, Spring and 
other streets progressed steadily until the Los Angeles Water 
Company struck a snag which again demonstrated the city's 
dependence. Difficulty in coupling pipes called a halt, and the 
management had to send all the way to San Francisco for a 
complete set of plumbers' tools f 

In the spring, Tileston, Emery & Company, a Los Angeles 
and San Gabriel firm, brought south the first steam separator 
seen here and took contracts to thrash the farmers' grain. 
On June 3d they started the machine, and many persons went out 
to see it work. Among features pointed out were precautions 
against fire from the engine, which the contractors declared 
made "everything perfectly safe." 

From its inception, Wilmington sought, in one way or 
another, to rival Los Angeles, and in April threw do^u^i the 
gauntlet. A. A. Polhamus, a workshop engineer of the Los 
Angeles & San Pedro Railroad, (in 18S7, a manufacturer of 
straw wrapping paper somewhere between here and Wilming- 
ton,) had built a velocipede; and no sooner was it noised 
about than John Goller set to work to eclipse the achieve- 
ment. About one o'clock, therefore, on April 25th one of 
Goller's apprentices suddenly appeared ready to make the first 
experiment. The streets were soon crowded and interest was 
at fever heat. The young fellow straddled the wheels, moved 
about half a block, and then, at the junction of Main and 
Spring streets, executed a first-class somersault ! Immediately, 
however, other intrepid ones tried their skill, and the velocipede 

Loebau Market Place, near the House in which Harris Newmark was Born 

.^m* ^ 

a B E k . 

Street in Loebau, Showing (right) Remnant of ancient City Wall 

Robert M. Widney 

Dr. Joseph Kurtz 

Isaac N. Van Nuys 

Abraham Haas 

1869] The Cerro Gordo Mines 385 

was voted a successful institution of our young and progressive 

, By the first week in May, the velocipede craze had spread, 
crowds congregating daily on Main Street to see the antics of 
the boys; and soon H. F. Laurence announced the opening 
in Stearns's Hall, on May 14th, of a Velocipede School, where 
free instruction would be given: afternoons to ladies and 
evenings to men; and to further stimulate interest, Laurence 
announced a raffle on May 15th of "a splendid velocipede." 
By May 22d, J. Eastman had obtained permission of the Com- 
mon Council to build a velocipede track on the historic old 
Plaza; but evidently he did not make use of the privilege, 
for a newspaper writer was soon giving vent to the following 
sarcasm : 

Our City Fathers tried to make a little coin by leasing the 
Plaza as a velocipede circle or square; but, so far, the veloci- 
pedist has failed to connect. I dare say the cost of cleaning 
up the place of weeds backed the poor soul out ! 

It happened in 1869 that Judson, the financier, and Bel- 
shaw, a practical miner, began working their lead mines in 
Cerro Gordo, in the Owens River country ; and as the handling 
of the ore necessitated a great many wagons, Remi Nadeau 
obtained the contract for the transportation of the ore brought 
down to Wilmington and then shipped by boat to San Francisco. 
Remi had returned here about 1866, after having been in San 
Francisco for four or five years; and eventually he built the 
Nadeau Hotel at the corner of Spring and First streets, where 
A. Bouelle, father of Frank A. Bouelle, had formerly kept a 
little grocery store in an adobe. This ore was loaded on to very 
large wagons, each drawn on level stretches by twelve or 
fourteen mules, but requiring as many as twenty or more 
mules while crossing the San Fernando Mountains — always 
regarded as one of the worst places on the route. In order 
not to return with empty wagons, Nadeau purchased supplies 
of every description, which he sold to people along the route; 


386 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

and in this way he obtained the best financial results. This 
was about the same time that Victor Beaudry (Prudent's 
brother, who came in 1855, to mine at San Gabriel) opened a 
store at Camp Independence, Inyo County, and became a 
stockholder in the Cerro Gordo mines. In the early eighties, 
Beaudry was interested -u-ith his brother in local real estate 
movements. He died in Montreal in 1888. 

After a time, the mines yielded so much ore that Nadeau 
found himself short of transportation facilities; but with the 
assistance of Judson & Belshaw, as well as H. Newinark & 
Company, he was enabled to increase his capacity until he 
operated thirty -two teams. Los Angeles was then the south- 
em terminus of his operations, although, during the building 
of the numerous Southern Pacific tunnels, his headquarters 
were removed to San Fernando, and still later, on the com- 
pletion of the railroad, to Alojave. Nadeau's assistant, Wil- 
lard G. Halstead, son-in-law of H. K. W. Bent, handled most 
of the business when Nadeau was absent; A. E. Lott was fore- 
man of teams and continually rode up and dovm. the line of 
operations; while Thomas O'Brien was station-agent at Cerro 
Gordo. The contract had been ver}^ profitable to Judson & 
Belshaw; yet when the agreement expired on January ist, 1872, 
they wished to renew it at a lower figure. Nadeau, believing 
that no one else could do the work satisfactorily, refused the 
new terms offered; whereupon Judson & Belshaw entered into 
an arrangement with William Osbom, a liveryman, who owned a 
few teams. 

The season of 1871-72 was by no means a good one and 
barley was high, involving a great expense to Nadeau in feeding 
four or five hundred animals; and right there arose his chief 
difficulty. He was in debt to H. Newmark & Company and 
therefore proposed that he should turn his outfit over to us; 
but as we had unlimited confidence both in his integrity and in 
his ability, we prevailed on him to keep and use his equipment 
to the best advantage. The suggestion was a fortunate one, for 
just at this time large deposits of borax were discovered in the 
mountains at Wordsworth, Nevada, and Nadeau commenced 

1869] The Cerro Gordo Mines 387 

operations there with every promise of success. In his work of 
hauling between Cerro Gordo and Los Angeles, Nadeau had 
always been very regular, his teams with rare exceptions arriv- 
ing and leaving on schedule time; and even when, occasionally, 
a wagon did break down, the pig-lead would be unloaded with- 
out delay, tossed to the side of the trail and left there for the 
next train ; a method that was perfectly safe, since thieves never 
disturbed the property. Osborn, on the other hand, soon proved 
uncertain and unreliable, his wagons frequently breaking down 
and causing other accidents and delays. To protect themselves, 
Judson & Belshaw were compelled to terminate their contract 
with him and reopen negotiations with Nadeau ; but the latter 
then rejected their advances unless they would buy a half- 
interest in his undertaking and put up one hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars for the construction and maintenance of the 
numerous stations that had become necessary for the proper 
development of his business. Nadeau also made it a condition 
that H. Newmark & Company be paid. The stations already 
constructed or proposed were Mud Springs, Lang's Station, 
Mojave, Red Rock, Panamint, Indian Wells, Little Lake, Hai- 
wee Meadows and Cartago. Before these were built, the 
teamsters camped in the open, carrying with them the provisions 
necessary for man and beast. Cartago was on the south side 
of Owens Lake, Cerro Gordo being on the north side, eighteen 
miles opposite; and between these points the miniature side- 
wheeler Bessie, of but twenty tons capacity, operated. 

An interesting fact or two in connection with Owens Lake 
may be recorded here. Its water was so impregnated with 
borax and soda that no animal life could be sustained. In the 
winter, the myriads of wild duck were worth talking about; 
but after they had remained near the lake for but a few days, 
they were absolutely unpalatable. The teamsters and miners 
operating in the vicinity were in the habit of sousing their 
clothes in the lake for a few minutes, and when dried, the 
garments were found to be as clean as if they had passed through 
the most perfect laundry. Even a handful of the water applied 
to the hair would produce a magnificent lather and shampoo. 

388 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

Judson & Belshaw were compelled to accept Nadeau's terms ; 
and Nadeau returned from Nevada, organized in 1873 the 
Cerro Gordo Freighting Company, and operated more exten- 
sively than ever before until he withdrew, perhaps five years 
after the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad and just 
before the petering out of the Cerro Gordo Mines. In their 
palmy days, these deposits were the most extensive lead-produc- 
ers of California ; and while the output might not have been so 
remarkable in comparison with those of other lead mines in the 
world, something like eighty-five to ninety bars, each weighing 
about one hundred pounds, were produced there daily. Most 
of this was shipped, as I have said, to San Francisco; and for 
a while, at least, from there to Swansea, Wales. 

Nadeau at one time was engaged in the industr}^ of raising 
sugar-beets at the Nadeau rancho, near Florence, now Nadeau 
Station; and then he attempted to refine sugar. But it was 
bad at best, and the more sugar one put in coffee, the blacker 
the coffee became. 

On April 24th, 1869, under Mayor Joel Turner's admin- 
istration, the Los Angeles Board of Education came into 

In the early sixties, the City authorities promised to set out 
trees at the Plaza, providing neighboring property-owners would 
fence in the place; but even though Governor Downey sup- 
plied the fence, no trees were planted, and it was not until 
the spring of 1869 that any grew on the public square. This 
loud demand for trees was less for the sake of the usual benefits 
than to hide the ugliness of the old water tank. 

On May 9th, F. G. Walther issued the first number of 
the Los Angeles Chronik, a German weekly journal that sur- 
vived scarcely three months. 

The tenth of May was another red-letter day for the 
Pacific Coast, rejoicing, as it did, in the completion of the Cen- 
tral Pacific at Promontory Point in Utah. There, with a silver 
hammer. Governor Stanford drove the historic gold spike 
into a tie of polished California laurel, thus consummating the 
vast work on the first trans-continental railroad. This event 

1869] The Cerro Gordo Mines 389 

recalls the fact that, in the railway's construction, Chinese 
labor was extensively employed, and that in 1869 large numbers 
of the dead bodies of Celestials were gathered up and shipped 
to Sacramento for burial. 

William J. Brodrick, after wandering in Peru and Chile, 
came to Los Angeles in 1869 and started as a stationer; then he 
opened an insurance office, and still later became interested in 
the Main Street Railway and the water company. On May 
8th, 1877, Brodrick married Miss Laura E., daughter of Robert 
S. Carlisle. On October i8th, 1898, Brodrick died, having 
been identified with many important activities. 

Hacks and omnibuses first came into use in 1869. Toward 
the end of May of that year, J. J. Reynolds, who had long 
been popular as a driver between Los Angeles and Wilming- 
ton, purchased a hack and started in business for himself, ap- 
pealing to his "reputation for good driving and reliability" 
as a reasonable assurance that he would bring his patrons 
right side up to their scattered homes; and so much was he in 
demand, both in the city and its suburbs, that a competitor, 
J. Hewitt, in the latter part of June ordered a similar hack to 
come by steamer. It arrived in due time and was chronicled 
as a "luxurious vehicle." Hewitt regularly took up his stand 
in the morning in front of the Lafayette Hotel; and he also 
had an order slate at George Butler's livery-stable on Main 

During the sixties. Dr. T. H, Rose, who had relinquished 
the practice of medicine for the career of a pedagogue, com- 
menced work as Principal of the Boys' Grammar School on 
Bath Street, and in 1869 was elected Superintendent of City 
Schools. He held this office but about a year, although he did 
not resign from educational work here until 1873. During his 
incumbency, he was Vice-Principal of the first Teachers' In- 
stitute ever held here, contributing largely toward the founding 
of the first high school and the general development of the 
schools prior to the time when Dr. Lucky, the first really pro- 
fessional teacher, assumed charge. On leaving Los Angeles, 
Dr. Rose became Principal of the school at Healdsburg, Sonoma 

390 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

County, where he married a Mrs. Jewell, the widow of an old- 
time, wealthy miner ; but he was too sensitive and proud to live 
on her income and, much against her wishes, insisted on teach- 
ing to support himself. In 1874, ^^ took charge of the high 
school at Petaluma, where the family of Mrs. Rose's first hus- 
band had lived ; and the relationship of the two families proba- 
bly lead to Rose and his wife separating. Later, Dr. Rose 
went to the Sandwich Islands to teach, but by 1883, shortly 
before he died, he was back in Los Angeles, broken in health 
and spirit. Dr. Rose was an excellent teacher, a strict dis- 
ciplinarian and a gentleman. 

The retirement of Dr. Rose calls to mind a couple of years 
during which Los Angeles had no City School Superintendent. 
While Rose was Principal, a woman was in charge of the girls* 
department ; and the relations between the schoolmaster and the 
schoolmistress were none too friendly. When Dr. Rose became 
Superintendent, the schoolma'am instantly disapproved of the 
choice and rebelled; and there being no law which authorized 
the governing of Los Angeles schools in any other manner than 
by trustees, the new Superintendent had no authority over 
his female colleague. The office of Superintendent of City 
Schools, consequently, remained vacant until 1873. 

Dr. James S. Crawford had the honor, as far as I am aware, 
of being one of the first regular dentists to locate in Los Ange- 
les. As an itinerant he had passed the winters of 1863, 1864 
and 1865 in this city, afterward going east; and on his return 
to California in 1869 he settled in the Downey Block at Spring 
and Main streets, where he practiced until, on April 14th, 
19 1 2, he died in a Ventura County camp. 

In 1864, the California Legislature, wishing to encourage the 
silk industry, offered a bounty of two hundred and fifty dollars 
for every plantation of five thousand mulberry trees of two years* 
growth, and a bounty of three hundred dollars for each one 
hundred thousand salable cocoons; and in three years an enor- 
mous number of mulberry trees, in various stages of growth, was 
registered. Prominent among silk-growers was Louis Prevost, 
who rather early had established here an extensive mulberry- 

1869J The Cerro Gordo Mines 391 

tree nursery and near it a large cocoonery for the rearing 
of silk worms; and had planned, in 1869, the creation of a 
colony of silk-worms whose products would rival even those 
of his native belle France. The California Silk Center Association 
of Los Angeles was soon formed, and four thousand acres of 
the rancho once belonging to Juan Bandini, fourteen hundred and 
sixty acres of the Hartshorn Tract and three thousand one 
hundred and sixty-nine acres of the Jurupa, on the east side 
of the Santa Ana River, were purchased. That was in June 
or July; but on August i6th, in the midst of a dry season, Louis 
Prevost died, and the movement received a serious setback. 
To add to the reverses, the demand for silk-worm eggs fell off 
amazingly; while finally, to give the enterprise its death-blow, 
the Legislators, fearful that the State Treasury would be de- 
pleted through the payment of bounties, withdrew all State 

The Silk Center Association, therefore, failed ; but the South- 
ern California Colony Association bought all the land, paying 
for it something like three dollars and a half an acre. To 
many persons, the price was quite enough : old Louis Robidoux 
had long refused to list his portion for taxes, and some one had 
described much of the acreage as so dry that even coyotes, 
in crossing, took along their canteens for safety! A town 
called at first Jurupa, and later Riverside, was laid out; a 
fifty thousand-dollar ditch diverted the Santa Ana River to a 
place where Nature had failed to arrange for its flowing; and 
in a few months a number of families had settled beside the 
artificial waterway. Riversiders long had to travel back and 
forth to Los Angeles for most of their supplies (a stage, still 
in existence, being used by ordinary passengers), and this made 
a friendly as well as profitable business relation with the older 
and larger town; but experiments soon showing that oranges 
could grow in the arid soil, Riverside in course of time had 
something to sell as well as to buy. 

Who was more familiar both to the youth of the town and to 
grown-ups than Nicolas Martinez, in summer the purveyor of 
cooling ice cream, in winter the vender of hot tamales! From 

392 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869] 

morning till night, month in and month out during the sixties 
and seventies, Martinez paced the streets, his dark skin made 
still swarthier in contrast to his white costume — a shirt, scarcely- 
tidy, together with pantaloons none too symmetrical and 
hanging down in generous folds at the waist. On his head, in 
true native fashion, he balanced in a small hooped tub what he 
had for sale; he spoke with a pronounced Latin accent, and 
his favorite method of announcing his presence was to bawl 
out his wares. The same receptacle, resting upon a round board 
with an opening to ease the load and covered with a bunch 
of cloths, served both to keep the tamales hot and the ice 
cream cool; while to dispense the latter, he carried in one hand 
a circular iron tray, in which were holes to accommodate three 
or four glasses. Further, for the convenience of the exacting 
youth of the town, he added a spoon to each cream-filled glass; 
and what stray speck of the ice was left on the spoon after the 
youngster had given it a parting lick, Nicolas, bawling anew 
to attract the next customer, fastidiously removed with his 
tobacco-stained fingers ! 



THE Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad continued in 1869 
to be the local theme of most importance, although its 
construction did not go on as rapidly as had been 
promised. The site for a depot, it is true, had been selected; 
but by June 14th, only six miles were finished. Farmers were 
loud in complaints that they had been heavily taxed, and in 
demanding that the road be rushed to completion, in order to 
handle the prospectively -large grain crop. Additional gangs 
were therefore employed, and by the twentieth of July, seven 
more miles of track had been laid. In the meantime, the Sun- 
day School at Compton enjoyed the first excursion, the mem- 
bers making themselves comfortable on benches and straw in 
some freight cars. 

As the work on the railroad progressed, stages, in addition 
to those regularly running through from Los Angeles to Wil- 
mington, began connecting with the trains at the temporary 
terminus of the railroad. People went down to Wilmington to 
see the operations, not merely on the track, but in the machine 
shops where the cars for freight, express, baggage, smoking 
and passenger service (designed by A. A. Polhamus, the machin- 
ist) were being built under the superintendence of Samuel 
Atkinson, who had been brought West by the San Fran- 
cisco & San Jose Valley Railroad, because of a reputation 
for railroad experience enjoyed by few, if by any other 
persons on the Coast. The Company also had a planing 


394 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

mill and wheelwright shop under the charge of George W. 

By the first of August, both the railroad and connecting 
stages were advertising Sunday excursions to the beach, 
emphasizing the chance to travel part of the way by the new 
means of transit. Curiously, however, visitors were allowed 
to enjoy the sea-breezes but a short time : arriving at Wilming- 
ton about ten or half-past, they were compelled to start back 
for Los Angeles by four in the afternoon. Many resorters 
still patronized the old service; and frequently the regular 
stages, racing all the way up from the steamer, would actually 
reach the city half an hour earlier than those transferring the 
passengers from the railway terminus which was extended by 
August 1st to a point within four miles of town. 

When eighteen miles had been finished, it was reported 
that General Stoneman and his post band would make an 
excursion on the first train, accompanied by General Banning 
and leading citizens of the town; but strong opposition to 
the Company laying its tracks through the center of "The 
Lane," now Alameda Street, having developed, the work was 
stopped by injunction. The road had been constructed to a 
point opposite the old Wolfskill home, then "far from town," 
and until the matter was settled, passengers and freight were 
unloaded there. 

Great excitement prevailed here shortly after sundown on 
Wednesday evening, August 21st, when the mail-stage which 
had left for Gilroy but a short time before came tearing back 
to town, the seven or eight passengers excitedly shouting that 
they had been robbed. The stage had proceeded but two 
miles from Los Angeles when four masked highwaymen stepped 
into the road and ordered, "Hands up!" Among the passen- 
gers was the well-known and popular Ben Truman who, having 
learned by previous experience just what to do in such a ticklish 
emergency and "being persuaded that the two barrels of cold 
steel had somewhat the porportions of a railway tunnel, " sadly 
but promptly unrolled one hundred and eighty dollars in bills, 
and quite as sadly deposited, in addition, his favorite chro- 


1869] Coming of the Iron Horse 395 

nometer. The highwayman picked up the watch, looked it 
over, shook his head and, thanking Ben, returned it, expressing 
the hope that, whatever adversity might overwhelm him, he 
should never be discovered with such a timepiece ! All in all, 
the robbers secured nearly two thousand dollars; but, strange to 
relate, they overlooked the treasure in the Wells Fargo chest, 
as well as several hundred dollars in greenbacks belonging to 
the Government. Sheriff J. F. Burns and Deputy H. C. Wiley 
pursued and captured the robbers; and within about a week 
they were sent to the Penitentiary. 

On the same evening, at high tide, the little steamer 
christened Los Angeles and constructed by P. Banning & 
Company to run from the wharf to the outside anchorage, 
was committed to the waters, bon-fires illuminating quite 
distinctly both guests and the neighboring landscape, and 
lending to the scene a weird and charming effect. 

In a previous chapter I have given an account of Lady 
Franklin's visit to San Pedro and Los Angeles, and of the 
attention shown her. Her presence awakened new interest 
in the search for her lamented husband, and paved the way 
for the sympathetic reception of any intelligence likely to 
clear up the mystery. No little excitement, therefore, was 
occasioned eight years later by the finding of a document at 
San Buenaventura that seemed "like a voice from the dead." 
According to the story told, as James Daly (of the lumber firm 
of Daly & Rodgers) was walking on the beach on August 30th, 
he found a sheet of paper a foot square, much mutilated but 
bearing, in five or six different languages, a still legible request 
to forward the memoranda to the nearest British Consul or the 
Admiralty at London. Every square inch of the paper was 
covered with data relating to Sir John Franklin and his party, 
concluding with the definite statement that Franklin had died 
on June 1 1 th, 1 847. Having been found within a week of the time 
that the remnant of Dr. Hall's party, which went in search of 
the explorer, had arrived home in Connecticut with the an- 
nouncement that they had discovered seven skeletons of 
Franklin's men, this document, washed up on the Pacific Coast, 

396 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

excited much comment; but I am unable to say whether it 
was ever accepted by competent judges as having been written 
by Franklin's associates. 

In 1869, the long-familiar adobe of Jose Antonio Carrillo 
was razed to make way for what, for many years, was the 
leading hotel of Los Angeles. This was the Pico House, in its 
decline known as the National Hotel, which, when erected on 
Main Street opposite the Plaza at a cost of nearly fifty thou- 
sand dollars, but emphasized in its contrasting showiness 
the ugliness of the neglected square. Some thirty-five thou- 
sand dollars were spent in furnishing the eighty-odd rooms, 
and no little splurge was made that guests could there enjoy 
the luxuries of both gas and baths! In its palmy days, the 
Pico House welcomed from time to time travelers of wide dis- 
tinction; while many a pioneer, among them not a few newly- 
wedded couples now permanently identified with Los Angeles 
or the Southland, look back to the hostelry as the one surviv- 
ing building fondly associated with the olden days. Charles 
Knowlton was an early manager; and he was succeeded by 
Dunham & Schieffelin. 

Competition in the blacking of boots enlivened the fall, 
the Hotel Lafayette putting boldly in printer's ink the ques- 
tion, "Do You Want to Have Your Boots Blacked in a Cool, 
Private Place?" This challenge was answered with the 
following proclamation : 

Champion Boot-Black! Boots Blacked Neater and 
Cheaper than Anywhere Else in the City, at the Blue Wing 
Shaving Saloon by D. Jefferson. 

Brickmaking had become, by September, quite an import- 
ant industry. Joe Mullally, whose brickyard was near the 
Jewish Cemetery, then had two kilns with a capacity of two 
hundred and twenty-five thousand ; and in the following month 
he made over five hundred thousand brick. 

In course of time, the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad 
was completed to the Madigan lot, which remained for several 

1869] Coming of the Iron Horse 397 

years the Los Angeles terminus; and justly confident that 
the difficulty with the authorities would be removed, the 
Company pushed work on their depot and put in a turn-table 
at the foot of New Commercial Street. There was but one 
diminutive locomotive, though a larger one was on its way 
around the Horn from the East and still another was coming 
by the Continental Railway; and every few days the little 
engine would go out of commission, so that traffic was con- 
stantly interrupted. At such times, confidence in the enter- 
prise was somewhat shaken; but new rolling stock served to 
reassure the public. A brightly-painted smoking-car, with 
seats mounted on springs, was soon the "talk of the town." 

I have spoken of J. J. Reynolds's early enterprise and the 
competition that he evoked. Toward the end of July, he went 
up to San Francisco and outdid Hewitt by purchasing a hand- 
some omnibus, suitable for hotel service and also adapted to 
the needs of families or individuals clubbing together for picnics 
and excursions. This gave the first impetus to the use of hotel 
'buses, and by the first Sunday in September, when the cars 
from Wilmington rolled in bringing passengers from the 
steamer Orizaba, the travelers were met by omnibuses and 
coaches from all three hotels, the Bella Union, the United States 
and the Lafayette ; the number of vehicles, public and private, 
giving the streets around the railroad depot a very lively 

Judge W. G. Dryden, so long a unique figure here, died 
on September loth and A. J. King succeeded him as County 

A notable visit to Los Angeles was that of Secretary Wil- 
liam H. Seward who, in 1869, made a trip across the Continent, 
going as far north as Alaska and as far south as Mexico, 
and being everywhere enthusiastically received. When Seward 
left San Francisco for San Diego, about the middle of September, 
he was accompanied by Frederick Seward and wife (his son 
and daughter-in-law) , General W. S. Rosecrans, General Morton 
C. Hunter, Colonel Thomas Sedgwick and Senator S. B. Axtell; 
and the news of their departure having been telegraphed ahead, 

398 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

many people went down to greet them on the arrival of the 
steamer Orizaba. After the little steamer Los Angeles had 
been made fast to the wharf, it was announced, to everyone's 
disappointment, that the Secretary was not coming ashore, as 
he wished to continue on his way to San Diego. 

Meanwhile, the Common Council had resolved to extend 
the hospitality of the City to the distinguished party; and by 
September 19th, posters proclaimed that Seward and his party 
were coming and that citizens generally would be afforded an 
opportunity to participate in a public reception at the Bella 
Union on September 21st. A day in advance, therefore, the 
Mayor and a Committee from the Council set out for Anaheim, 
where they met the distinguished statesman on his way, whence 
the party jogged along leisurely in a carriage and four 
until they arrived at the bank of the Los Angeles River; and 
there Seward and his friends were met by other officials and 
a cavalcade of eighty citizens led by the military band of 
Drum Barracks, The guests alighted at the Bella Union 
and in a few minutes a rapidly-increasing crowd was calling 
loudly for Mr. Seward. 

The Secretary, being welcomed on the balcony by Mayor 
Joel H. Turner, said that he had been laboring under mistakes 
all his life : he had visited Rome to witness celebrated ruins, but 
he found more interesting ruins in the Spanish Missions (great 
cheers) ; he had journeyed to Switzerland to view its glaciers, 
but upon the Pacific Coast he had seen rivers of ice two hun- 
dred and fifty feet in breadth, five miles long and God knows 
how high (more cheers) ; he had explored Labrador to examine 
the fisheries, but in Alaska he found that the fisheries came to 
him (Hear! hear! and renewed applause) ; he had gone to Bur- 
gundy to view the most celebrated vineyards of the world, 
but the vineyards of California far surpassed them all ! (Vocif- 
erous and deafening hurrahs, and tossing of bouquets.) 

The next day the Washington guests and their friends 
were shown about the neighborhood, and that evening Mr, 
Seward made another and equally happy speech to the audience 
drawn to the Bella Union by the playing of the band. There 

1869] Coming of the Iron Horse 399 

were also addresses by the Mayor, Senator Axtell, ex-Govemor 
Downey and others, after which, in good old American fashion, 
citizens generally were introduced to the associate of the 
martyred Lincoln. At nine o'clock, a number of invited guests 
were ushered into the Bella Union's dining-room where, at a 
bounteous repast, the company drank to the health of the 
Secretary. This brought from the visitor an eloquent response 
with interesting local allusions. 

Secretary Seward remarked that he found people here 
agitated upon the question of internal improvements — for 
everywhere people wanted railroads. Calif ornians, if they were 
patient, would yet witness a railroad through the North, 
another by the Southern route, still another by the Thirty-fifth 
parallel, a fourth by the central route, and lastly, as the old 
plantation song goes, one "down the middle!" California 
needed more population, and railroads were the means by which 
to get people. 

Finally, Mr. Seward spoke of the future prospects of the 
United States, saying much of peculiar interest in the light 
of later developments. We were already great, he affirmed; 
but a nation satisfied with its greatness is a nation without 
a future. We should expand, and as mightily as we could; 
until at length we had both the right and the power to move our 
armies anywhere in North America, As to the island lying 
almost within a stone's throw of our mainland, ought we not 
to possess Cuba, too? 

Other toasts, such as "The Mayor and Common Council," 
"The Pioneers," "The Ancient Hospitality of California," 
"The Press," "The Wine Press" and "Our Wives and Sweet- 
hearts," were proposed and responded to, much good feeling 
prevailing notwithstanding the variance in political sentiments 
represented by guests and hosts; and everyone went home, 
in the small hours of the morning, pleased with the manner in 
which Los Angeles had received her illustrious visitors. The 
next day. Secretary Seward and party left for the North by 
carriages, rolling away toward Santa Barbara and the moun- 
tains so soon to be invaded by the puffing, screeching iron horse. 

400 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

Recollecting this banquet to Secretary Seward, I may add 
an amusing fact of a personal nature. Eugene Meyer and I 
arranged to go to the dinner together, agreeing that we were 
to meet at the store of S. Lazard & Company, almost directly 
opposite the Bella Union. When I left Los Angeles in 1867, 
evening dress was uncommon ; but in New York I had become 
accustomed to its more frequent use. Rather naturally, there- 
fore, I donned my swallowtail; Meyer, however, I found in a 
business suit and surprised at my query as to whether he intended 
going home to dress? Just as we were, we walked across the 
street and, entering the hotel, whom should we meet but ex- 
Mayor John G. Nichols, wearing a grayish linen duster, popu- 
lar in those days, that extended to his very ankles; while Pio 
and Andres Pico came attired in blue coats with big brass 
buttons, Meyer, observing the Mayor's outfit, facetiously 
asked me if I still wished him to go home and dress according 
to Los Angeles fashion ; whereupon I drew off my gloves, but- 
toned up my overcoat and determined to sit out the banquet 
with my claw-hammer thus concealed. Mr. Seward, it is 
needless to say, was faultlessly attired. 

The Spanish archives were long neglected, until M. Kremer 
was authorized to overhaul and arrange the documents; and 
even then it was not until September i6th that the Council 
built a vault for the preservation of the oflficial papers. Two 
years later, Kremer discovered an original proclamation of peace 
between the United States and Mexico. 

Elsewhere I allude to the slow development of Fort Street. 
For the first time, on the twenty-fourth of September street 
lamps burned there, and that was from six to nine months after 
darkness had been partially banished from Nigger Alley, Los 
Angeles, Aliso and Alameda streets. 

Supplementing what I have said of the Los Angeles & San 
Pedro Railroad depot : it was built on a lot fronting three hun- 
dred feet on Alameda Street and having a depth of one hundred 
and twenty feet, its situation being such that, after the exten- 
sion of Commercial Street, the structure occupied the southwest 
corner of the two highways. Really, it was more of a freight- 

Carreta, Earliest Mode of Transportation 

Alameda Street Depot and Train, Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad 

1869] Coming of the Iron Horse 401 

shed than anything else, without adequate passenger facilities ; 
a small space at the North end contained a second story in 
which some of the clerks slept; and in a cramped little cage 
beneath, tickets were sold. By the way, the engineer of the 
first train to run through to this depot was James Holmes, 
although B. W. Colling ran the first train stopping inside the 
city limits. 

About this time the real estate excitement had become still 
more intense. In anticipation of the erection of this depot. 
Commercial Street property boomed and the first realty agents 
of whom I have any recollection appeared on the scene. Judge 
R. M. Widney being among them. I remember that two lots — 
one eighty by one hundred and twenty feet in size at the north- 
west corner of First and Spring streets, and the other having 
a frontage of only twenty feet on New Commercial Street, 
adjacent to the station — were offered simultaneously at twelve 
hundred dollars each. Contrary, no doubt, to what he would 
do to-day, the purchaser chose the Commercial Street lot, be- 
lieving that location to have the better future. 

Telegraph rates were not very favorable, in 1869, to fre- 
quent or verbose communication. Ten words sent from Los 
Angeles to San Francisco cost one dollar and a half; and fifty 
cents additional was asked for the next five words. After a 
while, there was a reduction of twenty-five per cent, in the cost 
of the first ten words, and fifty per cent, on the second five. 

Twenty-four hundred voters registered in Los Angeles 
this year. 

In the fall, William H. Spurgeon founded Santa Ana some 
five miles beyond Anaheim on a tract of about fifty acres, 
where a number of the first settlers experimented in growing 

It is not clear to me just when the rocky Arroyo Seco began 
to be popular as a resort, but I remember going there on pic- 
nics as early as 1857. By the late sixties, when Santa Monica 
Canon also appealed to the lovers of sylvan life, the Arroyo 
had become known as Sycamore Grove — a name doubtless 
suggested by the numerous sycamores there — and Clois F. 

402 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

Henrickson had opened an establishment including a little 
"hotel," a dancing-pavilion, a saloon and a shooting-alley. 
Free lunch and free beer were provided for the first day, and 
each Sunday thereafter in the summer season an omnibus 
ran every two hours from Los Angeles to the Sycamores. 
After some years, John Rumph and wife succeeded to the 
management, Frau Rumph being a popular Wirtin; and then 
the Los Angeles Turnverein used the grove for its public per- 
formances, including gymnastics, singing and the old-time 
sack-racing and target-shooting. 

James Miller Guinn, who had come to California in Novem- 
ber, 1863 and had spent several years in various counties of the 
State digging for gold and teaching school, drifted down to Los 
Angeles in October and was soon engaged as Principal of the 
public school at the new town of Anaheim, remaining there in 
that capacity for twelve years, during part of which time he 
also did good work on the County School Board. 

Under the auspices of the French Benevolent Society and 
toward the end of October, the corner-stone of the French 
Hospital built on City donation lots, and for many years and 
even now one of the most efficient institutions of our city, was 
laid with the usual ceremonies. 

On October 9th, the first of the new locomotives arrived at 
Wilmington and a week later made the first trial trip, with a 
baggage and passenger car. Just before departure a painter was 
employed to label the engine and decorate it with a few scrolls ; 
when it was discovered, too late, that the artist had spelled 
the name: LOS ANGELOS. On October 23d, two lodges of 
Odd Fellows used the railway to visit Bohen Lodge at Wil- 
mington, returning on the first train, up to that time, run into 
Los Angeles at midnight. 

October 26th was a memorable day, for on that date the 
Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad Company opened the line 
to the public and invited everybody to enjoy a free excursion to 
the harbor. Two trains were dispatched each way, the second 
consisting of ten cars; and not less than fifteen hundred per- 
sons made the round trip. Unfortunately, it was very warm 

i869l Coming of the Iron Horse 403 

and dusty, but such discomforts were soon forgotten in the 
novelty of the experience. On the last trip back came the 
musicians ; and the new Los Angeles depot having been cleared, 
cleaned up and decorated for a dedicatory ball, there was a 
stampede to the little structure, filling it in a jiffy. 

Judge H. K. S. O'Melveny, who first crossed the Plains from 
IlHnois on horseback in 1849, came to Los Angeles with his 
family in November, having already served four years as a 
Circuit Judge, following his practice of law in Sacramento. 
He was a brother-in-law of L. J. Rose, having married, in 1850, 
Miss Annie Wilhelmina Rose. Upon his arrival, he purchased 
the southwest corner of Second and Fort streets, a lot one hun- 
dred and twenty by one hundred and sixty-five feet in size, and 
there he subsequently constructed one of the fine houses of the 
period; which was bought, some years later, by Jotham Bixby 
for about forty-five hundred dollars, after it had passed through 
various hands, Bixby lived in it for a number of years and 
then resold it. In 1872, O'Melveny was elected Judge of Los 
Angeles County; and in 1887, he was appointed Superior Judge. 
H. W. O'Melveny, his second son, came from the East with 
his parents, graduating in time from the Los Angeles High 
School and the State University. Now he is a distinguished 
attorney and occupies a leading position as a public-spirited 
citizen, and a patron of the arts and sciences. 

In his very readable work. From East Prussia to the Golden 
Gate, Frank Lecouvreur credits me with having served the 
commonwealth as Supervisor. This is a slight mistake: I was 
an unwilling candidate, but never assumed the responsibilities 
of office. In 1869, various friends waited upon me and requested 
me to stand as their candidate for the supervisorship ; to which 
I answered that I would be glad to serve my district, but that 
I would not lift a finger toward securing my election. H. 
Abila was chosen with six hundred and thirty-one votes, E. M. 
Sanf ord being a close second with six hundred and sixteen ; while 
five hundred and thirty-seven votes were cast in my favor. 

Trains on the new railway began to run regularly on No- 
vember 1st; and there still exists one of the first time-tables, 

404 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

bearing at the head, "Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad" 
and a little picture of a locomotive and train. At first, the 
train scheduled for two stated round trips a day (except on 
steamer days, when the time was conditioned by the arrival 
and departure of vessels) left Wilmington at eight o'clock 
in the morning and at one o'clock in the afternoon, returning at 
ten in the morning and four in the afternoon. The fare between 
Los Angeles and Wilmington was one dollar and fifty cents, 
with an additional charge of one dollar to the Anchorage ; while 
on freight from the Anchorage to Los Angeles, the tariff was: 
dry goods, sixteen dollars per ton; groceries and other mer- 
chandise, five dollars; and lumber, seven dollars per thousand 

After the formal opening of the railroad, a permanent 
staff of officers, crew and mechanicians was organized. The 
first Superintendent was H. W. Hawthorne, who was succeeded 
by E. E. Hewitt, editor of the Wilmington Journal. N. A. 
McDonald, was the first conductor; Sam Butler was the first 
and, for a while, the only brakeman, and the engineers were 
James McBride and Bill Thomas. The first local agent was 
John Milner; the first agent at Wilmington, John McCrea. 
The former was succeeded by John E. Jackson, who from 
1880 to 1882 served the community as City Surveyor. Worthy 
of remark, perhaps, as a coincidence, is the fact that both 
Milner and McCrea ultimately became connected in important 
capacities with the Farmers & Merchants Bank. 

The first advertised public excursion on the Los Angeles & 
San Pedro Railroad after its opening was a trip to Wilmington 
and around San Pedro Harbor, arranged for November 5th, 1869. 
The cars, drawn by the locomotive Los Angeles and connecting 
with the little steamer of the same name, left at ten and re- 
turned at three o'clock in the afternoon. Two dollars was the 
round-trip fare, w^hile another dollar was exacted from those who 
went out upon the harbor. 

In the late seventies, a Portuguese named Fayal settled 
near what is now the corner of Sixth and Front streets, San 
Pedro; and one Lindskow took up his abode in another shack 

1869I Coming of the Iron Horse 405 

a block away. Around these rude huts sprang up the neigh- 
borhoods of Fayal and Lindville, since absorbed by San Pedro. 

Probably the first attempt to organize a fire company for 
Los Angeles was made in 1869, when a meeting was called on 
Saturday evening, November 6th, at Bufifum's Saloon, to con- 
sider the matter. A temporary organization was formed, with 
Henry Wartenberg as President; W. A. Mix, Vice-President; 
George M. Fall, Secretary; and John H. Gregory, Treasurer, 
An initiation fee of two dollars and a half, and monthly dues 
of twenty-five cents, were decided upon; and J. F. Burns, B. 
Katz, Emil Harris, George Pridham, E. B. Frink, C. D. Hatha- 
way, P. Thompson, O. W. Potter, C. M. Small and E. C. 
Phelps were charter members. A committee appointed to 
canvass for subscriptions made little progress, and the partial 
destruction of Rowan's American Bakery, in December, 
demonstrating the need of an engine and hose cart, brought 
out sharp criticism of Los Angeles's penuriousness. 

About the middle of November, Daniel Desmond, who had 
come on October 14th of the preceding year, opened a hat 
store' on Los Angeles Street near New Commercial, widely 
advertising the enterprise as a pioneer one and declaring, 
perhaps unconscious of any pun, that he proposed to fill a want 
that had "long been felt." The steamer Orizaba, which was to 
bring down Desmond's goods, as ill luck would have it left 
half of his stock lying on the San Francisco pier; and the 
opening, so much heralded, had to be deferred several weeks. 
As late as 1876, he was still the only exclusive hatter here. 
Desmond died on January 23d, 1903, aged seventy years, and 
was succeeded by his son, C. C. Desmond. Another son, D. 
J. Desmond, is the well-known contractor. 

Toward the close of November, Joseph Joly, a Frenchman, 
opened the Chartres Coffee Factory on Main Street opposite 
the Plaza, and was the pioneer in that line. He delivered to 
both stores and families, and for a while seemed phenomenally 
successful; but one fine morning in December it was discovered 
that the "Jolly Joseph" had absconded, leaving behind nu- 
merous unpaid bills. 

4o6 Sixty Years in Southern California [1869 

The first marble-cutter to open a workshop in Los Angeles 
was named Miller. He came toward the end of 1869 and 
established himself in the Downey Block. Prior to Miller's 
coming, all marble work was brought from San Francisco or 
some source still farther away, and the delay and expense 
debarred many from using that stone even for the pious 
purpose of identifying graves. 

With the growth of Anaheim as the business center of the 
country between the new San Gabriel and the Santa Ana 
rivers, sentiment had been spreading in favor of the division 
of Los Angeles County; and at the opening of the Legislature 
of 1869-70, Anaheim had its official representative in Sacra- 
mento, ready to present the claims of the little German settle- 
ment and its thriving neighbors. The person selected for 
this important embassy was Major Max von Stroble; and he 
inaugurated his campaign with such sagacity and energy that 
the bill passed the Assembly and everything pointed to an 
early realization of the scheme. It was not, however, until 
Los Angeles awoke to the fact that the proposed segregation 
meant a decided loss, that opposition developed in the Senate 
and the whole matter was held up. 

Stroble thereupon sent posthaste to his supporters for 
more cash, and efforts were made to get the stubborn Senate to 
reconsider. Doubtless somebody else had a longer purse than 
Stroble; for in the end he was defeated, and the German's 
dream did not come true until long after he had migrated to 
the realms that know no subdivisions. One of the arguments 
used in favor of the separation was that it took two days's time, 
and cost six dollars, for the round trip to the Los Angeles Court- 
house; while another contention then regarded as of great 
importance was that the one coil of hose pipe owned by the 
County was kept at Los Angeles ! Stroble, by-the-way, desired 
to call the new county Anaheim. 

Major von Stroble was a very interesting character. 
He was a German who had stood shoulder to shoulder with 
Carl Schurz and Franz Sigel in the German Revolution of 
1848, and who, after having taken part in the adventures of 

i869i Coming of the Iron Horse 407 

Walker's filibustering expedition to Nicaragua, finally landed in 
Anaheim, where he turned his attention to the making of wine. 
He soon tired of that, and in 1867 was found boring for oil on 
the Brea Ranch, again meeting with reverses where others 
later were so successful. He then started the movement to 
divide Los Angeles County and once more failed in what was 
afterward accomplished. Journalism in Anaheim next ab- 
sorbed him and, having had the best of educational advantages, 
Stroble brought to his newspaper both culture and the experi- 
ence of travel. 

The last grand effort of this adventurous spirit was the 
attempt to sell Santa Catalina Island. Backed by the owners, 
Stroble sailed for Europe and opened headquarters near Thread- 
needle Street in London. In a few weeks he had almost ef- 
fected the sale, the contract having been drawn and the time 
actually set for the following day when the money — a cool two 
hundred thousand pounds — was to be paid; but no Stroble 
kept tryst to carry out his part of the transaction. Only the 
evening before, alone and unattended, the old man had died 
in his room at the very moment when Fortune, for the first 
time, was to smile upon him ! Eighteen or twenty years later, 
Catalina was sold for much less than the price once agreed 



AS I have somewhere related, I began buying hides as far 
back as 1855, but it was not until 1870 that this 
branch of our business assumed such importance as to 
require more convenient quarters. Then we bought a place 
on the southeast corner of Alameda and Commercial streets, 
facing sixty feet on Alameda and having a depth of one 
hundred and sixty-five feet, where we constructed a hide-house 
and erected a press for baling. We paid P. Beaudry eleven 
hundred dollars for the lot. The relatively high price shows 
what the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad depot had done 
for that section. In the days when hides were sent by sailing- 
vessels to the East, a different method of preparing them for 
shipment was in vogue. The wet hides having been stretched, 
small stakes were driven into the ground along the edge of, and 
through the skins, thus holding them in place until they had 
dried and expanding them by about one-third ; in this condition 
they were forwarded loose. Now that transportation is more 
rapid and there are tanneries in California, all hides are 
handled wet. 

In 1870, business life was centered on Los Angeles Street 
between Commercial and Arcadia; and all the hotels were 
north of First Street. Fort Street ended in a little bluff at a 
spot now between Franklin and First streets. Spring Street 
was beginning to take on new life, and yet there was but 
one gas lamp along the entire roadway, though many were 


[i87o] The Last of the Vigilantes 409 

the appeals to add another lamp, "say, as far as First 

Sometime in January, a number of ladies of this city met 
and, through the exertions of Mrs. Rosa Newmark, wife of 
Joseph Newmark, formed the Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent So- 
ciety. Mrs. Newmark, as was once pointed out in a notable 
open-air meeting of women's clubs (to which I elsewhere refer), 
never accepted any office in the Society ; but for years she was 
untiring in her efforts in the cause of charity. The first officers 
were: President, Mrs. W. Kalisher; Vice-President, Mrs. Harris 
Newmark; Treasurer, Mrs. John Jones; Secretary, Mrs. B. 
Katz ; and Collector, Mrs. A. Baer. Three Counselors — Henry 
Wartenberg, I. M. Hellman and myself — occasionally met with 
the ladies to advise them. 

Aside from the fact of its importance as the pioneer ladies' 
benevolent organization instituted in Los Angeles, the Society 
found a much-needed work to do. It was then almost im- 
possible to obtain nurses, and the duty devolved on members to 
act in that capacity, where such assistance was required, 
whether the afflicted were rich or poor. It was also their 
function to prepare the dead for interment, and to keep 
proper vigil over the remains until the time of burial. 

During the year 1869 or 1870, as the result of occasional 
gatherings in the office of Dr. Joseph Kurtz, the Los Angeles 
Turnverein was organized with eleven members — Emil Harris 
leading in the movement, assisted by Dr. Kurtz, Ed. Preuss, 
Lorenzo Leek, Philip and Henry Stoll, Jake Kuhrts, Fred 
Morsch, C. C. Lips and Isaac Cohn. Dr. Kurtz was elected 
President. They fraternized for a while at Frau Wiebecke's 
Garden, on the west side of Alameda near First Street, about 
where the Union Hardware and Metal Company now stands; 
and there, while beer and wine were served in the open air, the 
Teutons gratified their love of music and song. Needing for 
their gymnastics more enclosed quarters, the Turnverein rented 
of Kalisher & Wartenberg the barn on Alameda Street be- 
tween Ducommon and First, used as a hide-house ; and in that 
rough-boarded shack, whose none too aromatic odors are still 

410 Sixty Years in Southern California [1870 

a souvenir to many a pioneer resident, the Turners swung and 
vaulted to their heart's content. Classes were soon arranged 
for boys ; and the envy of all was the lad who, after numerous 
risks to limb and neck, proudly topped the human pyramid. 
Another garden of this period often patronized by the Turn- 
verein was Kiln Messer's, on First Street between Alameda 
and the river. 

The Post Office was moved this year from the corner of 
North Main and Market streets to the middle of Temple 
Block, but even there the facilities were so inadequate that 
Wells Fargo & Company, in June, put up a letter-box at the 
corner of Main and Commercial streets which was emptied 
but once a day, at four o'clock in the afternoon, save on steamer 
days when letters were taken out at half-past nine. One 
other box was at the sole railroad depot, then at the corner of 
Alameda and Commercial streets. The Post Office at that time 
was also so miserably illuminated that citizens fumbled about 
to find their letter-boxes, and ladies were timid about entering 
the building at night. Postmasters were allowed small reserves ; 
and for some time in 1870 the Los Angeles Post Office was 
entirely out of one- and two-cent stamps. 

In February, the way was prepared for the first city directory 
when the houses of Los Angeles were ordered to be numbered, 
a public discussion of the need for a directory having taken 
place the previous December. When the collaborators began 
to collect names and other data, there were many refusals to 
answer questions ; but the little volume of seventy pages was 
finally published in 1871. 

Until 1870 Los Angeles had no bookbinder, all binding 
having had to be sent to San Francisco ; and a call was then 
sent out to induce a journeyman to settle here. 

On the fourteenth of February, Phineas Banning was mar- 
ried to Miss Mary, daughter of Colonel J. H. Hollister — the 
affair being the consummation of a series of courtly addresses 
in which, as I have related, it was my pleasurable privilege 
to play an intermediary part. As might be expected of one 
who was himself an experienced and generous entertainer, the 

i87o] The Last of the Vif^ilantes 411 

wedding was a social event to be long and pleasantly remem- 
bered by the friends of the bride and groom. Mrs. Banning, 
who for years maintained an attractive home on Fort Hill, 
is now living on Commonwealth Avenue. 

About this time, Colonel Isaac R. Dunkelberger came to 
Los Angeles to live, having just finished his fifth year in the 
army in Arizona, following a long service under Northern 
banners during the Civil War. While here, the Colonel 
met and courted Miss Mary Mallard, daughter of Judge 
Mallard; and on February 26th, 1867, they were married. 
For eight years, from March, 1877, Dunkelberger was Post- 
master. -He died on December 5th, 1904, survived by his 
widow and six children. While writing about this estimable 
family, it occurs to me that Mary, then a little girl, was one 
of the guests at my wedding. 

Frank Lecouvreur, who was Surveyor of Los Angeles 
County from 1870 until 1873, was a native of East Prussia 
and like his predecessor, George Hansen, came to California 
by way of the Horn. For a while, as I have related, he was 
my bookkeeper. In 1877, he married Miss Josephine Rosanna 
Smith who had renounced her vows as a nun. Ten years later 
he suffered a paralytic stroke and was an invalid until his 
death, on January 17th, 1901. 

Once introduced, the telegraph gradually grew in popu- 
larity; but even in 1870, when the Western Union company 
had come into the field and was operating as far as the 
Coast, service was anything but satisfactory. The poles be- 
tween Los Angeles and San Francisco had become rotten and 
often fell, dragging the wires with them, and interrupting 
communication with the North. There were no wires, up to 
that time, to Santa Barbara or San Bernardino; and only in 
the spring of that year was it decided to put a telegraph line 
through to San Diego. When the Santa Barbara line was 
proposed, the citizens there speedily subscribed twenty-two 
hundred and forty-five dollars; it having been the company's 
plan always to get some local stockholders. 

As the result of real estate purchases and exchanges in the 

412 Sixty Years in Southern California I1870 

late sixties and early -seventies between Dr. J. S. Griffin, 
Phineas Banning, B. D. Wilson, P. Beaudry and others, a 
fruit-growing colony was planned in April, when it was pro- 
posed to take in some seventeen hundred and fifty acres of the 
best part of the San Pasqual rancho, including a ten-thousand- 
dollar ditch. A company, with a capital stock of two hundred 
thousand dollars divided into four thousand shares of fifty 
dollars each, was formed to grow oranges, lemons, grapes, 
olives, nuts and raisins, John Archibald being President; 
R. M. Widney, Vice-President; W. J. Taylor, Secretary; and 
the London & San Francisco Bank, Treasurer. But although 
subscription books were opened and the scheme was adver- 
tised, nothing was done with the land until D. M. Berry and 
others came from Indiana and started the Indiana Colony. 

A rather uncommon personality for about thirty years was 
Fred Dohs, who came from Germany when he was twenty- 
three and engaged in trading horses. By 1870 he was man- 
aging a barber shop near the Downey Block, and soon after 
was conducting a string band. For many years, the barber- 
musician furnished the music for most of the local dances and 
entertainments, at the same time (or until prices began to be 
cut) maintaining his shop, where he charged two bits for a 
shave and four bits for a hair-cut. During his prosperity, 
Dohs acquired property, principally on East First Street. 

The first foot-bridge having finally succumbed to the 
turbulent waters of the erratic Los Angeles River, the great 
flood of 1867-68 again called the attention of our citizens to the 
necessity of establishing permanent and safe communication 
between the two sides of the stream ; and this agitation resulted 
in the construction by Perry & Woodworth of the first fairly 
substantial bridge at the foot of the old Aliso Road, now Macy 
Street, at an outlay of some twenty thousand dollars. Yet, 
notwithstanding the great necessity that had always existed 
for this improvement, it is my recollection that it was not con- 
summated until about 1870. Like its poor little predecessor 
carried away by the uncontrolled waters, the more dignified 
structure was broken up by a still later flood, and the pieces 

i87o] The Last of the Vigilantes 413 

of timber once so carefully put together by a confident and 
satisfied people were strewn for a mile or two along the river 

'Way back in the formative years of Los Angeles, there 
were suddenly added to the constellation of noteworthy local 
characters two jovial, witty, good-for-nothing Irishmen who 
from the first were pals. The two were known as Dan Kelly 
and Micky Free. Micky's right name was Dan Harrington; 
but I never knew Kelly to go under any other appellation. 
When sober, which was not very frequent, Dan and Micky 
were good-natured, jocular and free from care, and it mattered 
not to either of them whether the morrow might find them 
well-fed and at liberty or in the jail then known as the 
Hotel de Burns: "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" 
was the only philosophy they knew. They were boon com- 
panions when free from drink; but when saturated, they 
immediately fought like demons. They were both in the 
toils quite ten months of the year, while during the other two 
months they carried a hod! Of the two, Micky was the most 
irredeemable, and in time he became such a nuisance that the 
authorities finally decided to ship him out of the country and 
bought him a ticket to Oregon. Micky got as far as San Pedro, 
where he traded his ticket for a case of delirium tremens; 
but he did something more — he broke his leg and was bundled 
back to Los Angeles, renewing here the acquaintance of both 
the bartender and the jailer. Some years later, he astonished 
the town by giving up drink and entering the Veterans's 
Home. When he died, they gave him a soldier's honors and 
a soldier's grave. 

In 1870, F. Bonshard imported into Los Angeles County 
some five or six hundred blooded Cashmere goats; and about 
the same time or perhaps even earlier, J. E. Pleasants conducted 
at Los Nietos a similar enterprise, at one time having four or 
five hundred of a superior breed, the wool of which brought 
from twenty-five to thirty-five cents a pound. The goat- 
fancying Pleasants also had some twelve hundred Angoras. 

On June ist, Henry Hamilton, who two years before had 

414 Sixty Years in Southern California [1870 

resumed the editorship of the Los Angeles Star, then a weekly, 
issued the first number of the Daily Star. He had taken into 
partnership George W. Barter, who three months later started 
the Anaheim Gazette. In 1872, Barter was cowhided by a 
woman, and a committee formally requested the editor to 
vamose the town ! Barter next bought the Daily Star from 
Hamilton, on credit, but he was unable to carry out his 
contract and within a year Hamilton was again in charge. 

At the beginning of this decade, times in Arizona were 
really very bad. H. Newmark & Company, who had large 
amounts due them from merchants in that Territory, were not en- 
tirely easy about their outstanding accounts, and this prompted 
Kaspare Cohn to visit our customers there. I urged him to 
consider the dangers of the road and to abandon his project; 
but he was determined to go. The story of the trip, in the 
light of present methods and the comparative safety of travel, 
is an interesting one, and I shall relate his experiences as he 
described them to me. 

He started on a Saturday, going by stage (in preference to 
buckboard) from Los Angeles to San Bernardino, and from 
there rode, as the only passenger, with a stage-driver named 
Brown, passing through Frink's Ranch, Oilman's, White 
River, Agua Caliente, Indian Wells, Toros, Dos Palmas, 
Chuckawalla, Mule Springs and Willow Springs. H. New- 
mark & Company had forwarded, on a prairie schooner driven 
by Jesse Allen of Los Angeles, a considerable amount of 
merchandise which it was their intention should be sold 
in Arizona, and the freighting charge upon which was to 
be twelve and a half cents per pound. In Chuckawalla, fa- 
miliarly called Chucky Valley, the travelers overtook Allen and 
the stock of goods; and this meeting in that lonesome region 
was the cause of such mutual rejoicing that Kaspare provided 
as abundant an entertainment as his limited stores would 
permit. Resuming their journey from Chuckawalla, the driver 
and his companion soon left Allen and his cumbersome load 
in the rear. 

It was near Granite Wash, as they were jogging along in the 

i87o] The Last of the Vigilantes 415 

evening, that they noticed some Indian fire signals. These 
were produced by digging a hole in the ground, filling it with 
combustible material, such as dry leaves, and setting fire to it. 
From the smoldering that resulted, smoke was emitted and 
sparks burst forth. Observing these ticklish warnings, the 
wayfarers sped away and escaped — perhaps, a tragic fate. 
Arriving at Ehrenberg on a Tuesday morning, Kaspare re- 
mained there all night. Still the only passenger, he left the 
next day; and it may be imagined how cheering, after the 
previous experience, was the driver's remark that, on account 
of the lonesome character of the trip, and especially the danger 
from scalping Apaches, he would never have departed without 
some company! 

Somewhere between Granite Wash and Wickenberg, a 
peculiar rattling revealed a near-by snake, whereupon Kaspare 
jumped out and shot the reptile, securing the tail and rattles. 
Changing horses or resting at Tyson's Wells, McMullen's and 
Cullen's Station, they arrived the next night at Wickenberg, the 
location of the Vulture Mines, where Kaspare called upon the 
Superintendent — a man named Peoples — to collect a large 
amxount they owed us. Half of the sum was paid in gold bars, 
at the rate of sixteen dollars per ounce, while the other half 
we lost. 

A niece of M. Kremer lived in Wickenberg, where her 
husband was in business. She suffered a great deal from 
headaches, and a friend had recommended, as a talisman, the 
possession of snake rattles. Kaspare, with his accustomed 
gallantry, produced the specimen which he had obtained and 
gave it to the lady ; and it is to be hoped that she was as per- 
manently relieved of her pain as so many nowadays are cured 
of imaginary troubles by no more substantial superstitions. 

Making short stops at Wilson's Station, Antelope Station, 
Kirkland Valley, Skull Valley and Mint Valley, Kaspare reached 
Prescott, some four hundred and thirty miles from San Ber- 
nardino, and enquired after Dan Hazard, the ex-Mayor's 
brother and one of our customers — who died about the 
middle of the eighties — and learned that he was then on his 

4i6 Sixty Years in Southern California [1870 

way to St. Louis with teams to haul back freight for Levi 
Bashford who, in addition to being an important trader, was 
Government Receiver of Public Moneys. Kaspare decided to 
remain in Prescott until Hazard returned; and as Jesse Allen 
soon arrived with the merchandise, Kaspare had ample time 
to sell it. Bashford, as a Government official, was not per- 
mitted to handle such goods as matches and cigars, which bore 
revenue stamps, but Kaspare sold him quantities of lard, beans, 
coffee, sugar and other supplies. He sold the revenue-stamped 
articles to Buffum & Campbell, the former of whom had once 
been a well-known resident of Los Angeles. He also disposed 
of some goods to Henderson Brothers, afterward prominent 
bankers of Tucson and Globe, Arizona. In the meantime, Dan 
Hazard returned and settled his account in full. 

Kaspare remained in Prescott nearly four weeks. Between 
the collections that he made and the money which he received 
for the consigned merchandise, he had about thirteen thousand 
dollars in currency to bring back with him. With this amount 
of money on his person, the return trip was more than ever 
fraught with danger. Mindful of this added peril, Kaspare kept 
the time of his departure from Prescott secret, no one, with the 
exception of Bashford, being in his confidence. He prepared 
very quietly ; and at the last moment, one Saturday afternoon, 
he slipped into the stage and started for California. Brown was 
again his companion as far as Ehrenberg. There he met Frank 
Ganahl and Charles Strong, both soon to become Southern 
Calif ornians ; and knowing them very well, their companion- 
ship contributed during the rest of the trip not only pleasure 
but an agreeable feeling of security. His arrival in Los Angeles 
afforded me much relief, and the story of his adventures and 
success added more than a touch of interest. 

The first street-sprinklers in Los Angeles were owned and 
operated about the middle of July by T. W. McCracken, who 
was allowed by the Council to call upon residents along the 
route for weekly contributions to keep the water wagon going. 

I have told of the establishing of Hellman, Temple & 
Company as bankers. In September, the first- named bought 

1870] The Last of the Vigilantes 417 

out his partners and continued, until 1871, as Hellman & 

With the commencement of autumn, when the belief 
prevailed that little or nothing could be done toward persuading 
the Common Council to beautify the Plaza, a movement to 
lay out and embellish the five-acre tract bounded by Hill and 
Olive, and Fifth and Sixth streets, met with such favor that, by 
the first week in October, some eight hundred dollars had been 
subscribed for the purpose. On November 19th a public meet- 
ing was held, presided over by Prudent Beaudry, Major H, M. 
Mitchell serving as Secretary; and it was suggested to call the 
proposed square the Los Angeles Park, and to enclose it, at a 
cost of about five hundred dollars, with a fence. Another two 
hundred dollars was soon made up; and the services of L. 
Carpenter, who offered to plow the land prior to sowing grass- 
seed, were accepted in lieu of a subscription. Both George 
Lehman and Elijah Workman showed their public spirit 
by planting what have since become the largest trees there. 
Sometime later, the name was changed to Central Park, 
by which it is still known. 

The first hackney coach ever built in Los Angeles was 
turned out in September by John Goller for J. J. Reynolds 
— about the same time that the Oriental Stage Company 
brought a dozen new Concord coaches from the East — and 
cost one thousand dollars. Goller was then famous for elabo- 
rate vehicles and patented spring buggies which he shipped 
even to pretentious and bustling San Francisco. Before the 
end of November, however, friends of the clever and enterpris- 
ing carriage-maker were startled to hear that he had failed 
for the then not insignificant sum of about forty thousand 

Up to the fall of the year, no connection existed between 
Temple and First Streets west of Spring ; but on the first day of 
September, a cut through the hill, effected by means of chain- 
gang labor and continuing Fort Street north, was completed, to 
the satisfaction of the entire community. 

About the middle of October, a petition was presented to the 

41 8 Sixty Years in Southern California [1870 

Common Council calling attention to the fact that the Los 
Angeles Water Company two years before had agreed to erect 
a fountain on the Plaza ; and declaring that the open place was 
little short of a " scarecrow for visitors. ' ' The Company imme- 
diately replied that it was ready to put up the fountain ; and in 
November the Council ordered the brick tank taken away. 
At the beginning of August, 1871, the fountain began playing. 

During the second marshalship of William C. Warren, when 
Joe Dye was one of his deputy officers, there was great traffic 
in Chinese women, one of whom was kidnaped and carried 
off to San Diego. A reward of a hundred dollars was offered 
for her return, and she was brought back on a charge of theft 
and tried in the Court of Justice Trafford, on Temple Street 
near Spring. During the trial, on October 31st, 1870, Warren 
and Dye fell into a dispute as to the reward; and the quarrel 
was renewed outside the courtroom. At a spot near the 
corner of Spring and Temple streets Dye shot and killed 
Warren; and in the scrimmage several other persons standing 
near were wounded. Dye was tried, but acquitted. Later, 
however, he himself was killed by a nephew. Mason Bradfield, 
whose life he had frequently threatened and who fired the 
deadly bullet from a window of the New Arlington Hotel, 
formerly the White House, at the southeast corner of Com- 
mercial and Los Angeles streets. Mrs. C. P. Bradfield, Brad- 
field's mother and a teacher, who came in 1875, was the 
author of certain text-books for drawing, published by A. S. 
Barnes & Company of New York. 

Failures in raising and using camels in the Southwest 
were due, at least partially, to ignorance of the animal's wants, 
a company of Mexicans, in the early sixties, overloading some 
and treating them so badly that nearly all died. Later, French- 
men, who had had more experience, secured the two camels left, 
and by 1870 there was a herd of no less than twenty-five on a 
ranch near the Carson River in Nevada, where they were used 
in packing salt for sixty miles or more to the mills. 

On October 31st, the first Teacher's Institute held in Los 
Angeles County was opened, with an attendance of thirty-five, 

i87o] The Last of the Vigilantes 419 

in the old Bath Street schoolhouse, that center being selected 
because the school building at Spring and Second streets, 
though much better adapted to the purpose, was considered 
to be too far out of town! County Superintendent W. M. 
McFadden was President; J. M. Guinn was Vice-President; 
and P. C. Tonner was Secretary; while a leader in discussions 
was Dr. Truman H. Rose, who there gave a strong impetus 
to the founding of the first high school. 

Soon after this Institute was held, the State Legislature 
authorized bonds to the amount of twenty thousand dollars 
for the purpose of erecting another schoolhouse; and the 
building was soon to be known as the Los Angeles High School. 
W. H. Workman, M. Kremer and H. D. Barrows were the 
building committee. 

Mentioning educators, I may introduce the once well- 
known name of Professor Adams, an instructor in French 
who lived here in the early seventies. He was so very 
urbane that on one occasion, while overdoing his polite 
attention to a lady, he fell off the sidewalk and badly broke 
his leg! 

In a previous chapter I have spoken of a Frenchman named 
Lachenais who killed a fellow-countryman at a wake, the 
murder being one of a succession of crimes for which he finally 
paid the penalty at the hands of a Vigilance Committee in the 
last lynching witnessed here. 

Lachenais lived near where the "Westminster Hotel now 
stands, on the northeast corner of Main and Fourth streets, 
but he also had a farm south of the city, adjoining that of 
Jacob Bell who was once a partner in sheep-raising with 
John Schumacher. The old man was respectable and quiet, 
but Lachenais quarreled with him over water taken from the 
zanja. Without warning, he rode up to Bell as he was work- 
ing in his field and shot him dead ; but there being no witnesses 
to the act, this murder remained, temporarily, a mystery. 
One evening, as Lachenais (to whom suspicion had been 
gradually directed), was lounging about in a drunken condition, 
he let slip a remark as to the folly of anyone looking for 

420 Sixty Years in Southern California [1870] 

Bell's murderer; and this indiscretion led to his arrest and 

No sooner had the news of Lachenais's apprehension been 
passed along than the whole town was in a turmoil. A meeting 
at Stearns's Hall was largely attended ; a Vigilance Committee 
was formed; Lachenais's record was reviewed and his death at 
the hands of an outraged community was decided upon. Every- 
thing being arranged, three hundred or more armed men, under 
the leadership of Felix Signoret, the barber — Councilman in 
1863 and proprietor of the Signoret Building opposite the Pico 
House — assembled on the morning of December 17th, marched 
to the jail, overcame Sheriff Bums and his assistants, took 
Lachenais out, dragged him along to the corral of Tomlinson & 
Griffith (at the corner of Temple and New High streets) and 
there summarily hanged him. Then the mob, without further 
demonstration, broke up; the participants going their several 
ways. The reader may have already observed that this was 
not the first time that the old Tomlinson & Griffith gate had 
served this same gruesome purpose. 

The following January, County Judge Y. Sepulveda charged 
the Grand Jury to do its duty toward ferreting out the leaders 
of the mob, and so wipe out this reproach to the city; but the 
Grand Jury expressed the conviction that if the law had 
hitherto been faithfully executed in Los Angeles, such scenes 
in broad daylight would never have taken place. The editor 
of the News, however, ventured to assert that this report was 
but another disgrace. 



HNEWMARK & COMPANY enjoyed associations with 
nearly all of the most important wool men and rancheros 
' in Southern California, our office for many years being 
headquarters for these stalwarts, as many as a dozen or more 
of whom would ofttimes congregate, giving the store the ap- 
pearance of a social center. They came in from their ranches 
and discussed with freedom the different phases of their affairs 
and other subjects of interest. Wheat, corn, barley, hay, 
cattle, sheep, irrigation and kindred topics were passed upon ; 
although in 1871 the price of wool being out of all proportion 
to anything like its legitimate value, the uppermost topic of con- 
versation was wool. These meetings were a welcome interrup- 
tion to the monotony of our work. Some of the most important 
of these visitors were Jotham, John W. and Llewellyn Bixby, 
Isaac Lankershim, L. J. Rose, I. N. Van Nuys, R. S. Baker, 
George Carson, Manuel Dominguez, Domingo Amestoy, Juan 
Matias Sanchez, Dan Freeman, John Rowland, John Reed, 
Joe Bridger, Louis Phillips, the brothers Garnier, Remi Na- 
deau, E.J. Baldwin, P. Banning and Alessandro Repetto. There 
was also not a weather prophet, near or far, who did not 
manage to appear at these weighty discussions and offer his 
oracular opinions about the pranks of the elements; on which 
occasions, one after another of these wise men would step to the 
door, look at the sky and broad landscape, solemnly shake his 
head and then render his verdict to the speculating circle 


422 Sixty Years in Southern California [1871 

within. According as the moon emerged "so that one could 
hang something upon it," or in such a manner that "water 
would run off" (as they pictured it), we were to have dry 
or rainy weather; nor would volumes of talk shake their con- 
fidence. Occasionally, I added a word, merely to draw out 
these weather-beaten and interesting old chaps ; but usually I 
listened quietly and was entertained by all that was said. Hours 
would be spent by these friends in chatting and smoking the 
time away; and if they enjoyed the situation half as much 
as I did, pleasant remembrances of these occasions must have 
endured with them. Many of those to whom I have referred 
have ended their earthly careers, while others, living in different 
parts of the county, are still hale and hearty. 

A curious character was then here, in the person of the 
reputed son of a former, and brother of the then, Lord Clan- 
morris, an English nobleman. Once a student at Dr. Arnold's 
famous Rugby, he had knocked about the world until, shabbily 
treated by Dame Fortune, he had become a sheepherder in the 
employ of the Bixbys. 

M. J. Newmark, who now came to visit us from New York, 
was admitted to partnership with H. Newmark & Company, 
and this determined his future residence. 

As was natural in a town of pueblo origin, plays were often 
advertised in Spanish ; one of the placards, still preserved, thus 
announcing the attraction for January 30th, at the Merced 
Theater : 


Lunes, Enero 30, de 1871 

Primero Funcion de la Gran Compaiiia Dramatica, De Don 
Tomas Maguire, El Empresario Veterano de San Francisco, 
Veinte y Cuatro Artistas de ambos sexos, todos conocidos 
como Estrellas de primera clase. 

In certain quarters of the city, the bill was printed in English. 
Credit for the first move toward the formation of a County 

1871] The Chinese Massacre 423 

Medical Society here should probably be given to Dr. H. S. 
Orme, at whose office early in 1871 a preliminary meeting was 
held; but it was in the office of Drs. Griffin and Widney, on 
January 31st, that the organization was effected, my friend 
Griffin being elected President ; Dr. R. T. Hayes, Vice-President ; 
Dr. Orme, Treasurer ; and Dr. E. L. Dow, Secretary. Thus began 
a society which, in the intervening years, has accomplished 
much good work. 

Late in January, Luther H. Titus, one of several breeders 
of fast horses, brought from San Francisco by steamer a fine 
thoroughbred stallion named Echo, a half-brother of the 
celebrated trotter Dexter which had been shipped from the East 
in a Central Pacific car especially constructed for the pur- 
pose — in itself something of a wonder then. Sporting men 
came from a distance to see the horse ; but interest was divided 
between the stallion and a mammoth turkey of a peculiar 
breed, also brought west by Titus, who prophesied that the 
bird, when full grown, would tip the beam at from forty-five 
to fifty pounds. 

Early in February, the first steps were taken to reorganize 
and consolidate the two banking houses in which Downey 
and Hellman were interested, when it was proposed to start 
the Bank of Los Angeles, with a capital of five hundred 
thousand dollars. Some three hundred and eighty thousand 
dollars of this sum were soon subscribed ; and by the first week 
in April, twenty-five per cent, of the capital had been called in. 
John G. Downey was President and I. W. Hellman was Cashier; 
their office was in the former rooms of Hellman, Temple & 
Company. On the tenth of April the institution was opened 
as the Farmers & Merchants Bank; and on July loth, J. G. 
Downey, Charles Ducommun, O. W. Childs, L M. Hellman, 
George Hansen, A. Glassell, J. S. Griffin, Jose Mascarel and 
I. W. Hellman were chosen Trustees. From the first the 
Bank prospered, so that when the crisis of 1875 tested the 
substantiability of the financial institutions here, the Farmers 
& Merchants rode the storm. In April, 1871, Hellman in- 
augurated a popular policy when he offered to pay interest on 

424 Sixty Years in Southern California [1871 

time deposits, for it brought many clients who had previously- 
been accustomed to do their banking in San Francisco; and 
before long the Bank advertised one hundred thousand dollars 
to lend on good security. 

On February 14th, Stephen Samsbury, known as Buckskin 
Bill, and a man named Carter murdered the twin brothers 
Bilderback who had taken up some land very close to Verdugo — 
now incorporated in Glendale — and were engaged in chopping 
wood; the murderers coveting the land and planning to sell 
the fuel. Deputy Sheriff Dunlap went in pursuit of the 
desperadoes, and noticing some loose earth in the roadbed 
near by, he thrust a stick into the ground and so uncovered 
the blood-stained end of a blanket which led to the finding of 
the bodies. 

J. F. Burns, who, at eighty-three years of age, still manifests 
his old time spirit, being then Sheriff, pursued Buckskin Bill 
until the twenty-fourth of June. A young soldier on the way to 
Fort Yuma met Burns at San Pedro, and having agreed to sell 
him certain information about the fugitive, revealed the fact 
that Bill had been seen near Tecate, mounted on a horse, with 
his squaw and infant riding a mule. The chase had previously 
taken the Sheriff from Verdugo Canon to White Pine, Nevada, 
and back to Los Angeles; and acting on this new clue, Burns 
obtained a requisition on the Mexican Governor from Judge 
Ygnacio Sepulveda, and went to Lower Cahfornia where, with 
Felipe Zarate, a Mexican officer, he located the man after two 
or three days' search. About twenty miles north of Real 
Castillo, the Sheriff found the fugitive, and in the ensuing 
fight Samsbury accidentally shot himself; and so terribly did 
the wounded man suffer that he begged Burns to finish him at 
once. The Sheriff, refusing, improved the opportunity to 
secure a full confession of Bill's numerous crimes, among which 
figured the killing of five other men — besides the Bilderback 
brothers — in different parts of California. 

After Samsbury died. Burns cut off his foot — known to 
have six toes — and placed it in mescal, a popular and strongly- 
intoxicating beverage of the Mexicans; and when later the 

1871I The Chinese Massacre 425 

Sheriff presented this trophy to the good citizens of California, 
it was accepted as abundant proof that the man he had gone 
after had been captured and disposed of. The Legislature 
promptly paid Burns nearly five thousand dollars; but Los 
Angeles County, which had pledged two hundred dollars' 
reward, refused to recompense the doughty Sheriff and has 
never since made good its promise. In 1889, Burns was 
Chief of Police, with Emil Harris as his Captain. 

The earliest move toward the formation of a Los Angeles 
Board of Trade was made, not in 1883, nor even in 1873 — 
when the first Chamber of Commerce began — but in 1871, 
a fact that seems to be generally forgotten. Late in February 
of that year, a number of leading shippers came together 
to discuss Coast trade and other interests; and B. L. Peel 
moved that a Board of Trade be organized. The motion was 
carried and the organization was effected; but with the waning 
of enthusiasm for the improvements proposed or, perhaps, 
through the failure of its members to agree, the embryonic 
Board of Trade soon died. 

In February, B. L. Peel & Company installed the telegraph 
in their commission office — probably the first instance of a 
private wire in local business history. 

At the outset of the somewhat momentous decade of the 
seventies, Hellman, Haas & Company was established, with H. 
W. Hellman, Jacob Haas and B. Cohn partners; their first store 
being on the east side of Los Angeles Street opposite H. New- 
mark & Company's. Abraham Haas, who came in December, 
1873, had a share in his brother's venture from the start; but 
it was not until 1875, when he bought out Cohn's interest, 
that he became a partner. Ten years after the firm commenced 
business, that is, in 1881, Jacob Baruch, who had come to 
California with J. Loew, and with him had made his start at 
Galatin, was admitted to partnership; and in 1889, a year after 
Jacob Haas's death, Haas & Baruch bought out H. W. Hellman. 
Then it was that Haas, Baruch & Company, a name so agree- 
ably known throughout Southern California, first entered the 
field, their activity — immediately felt — permitting very little 

426 Sixty Years in Southern California I1871 

of the proverbial grass to grow under one's feet. On January 
7th, 1909, Jacob Baruch died. Haas since December 12th, 
1900 has been a resident of San Francisco. 

This year the United States Government began the great 
work of improving Wilmington or San Pedro Harbor. The 
gap between Rattlesnake and Dead Man's islands was closed 
by means of a breakw^ater, creating a regular current in the 
channel; and dredging to a depth of seventeen or eighteen feet 
first made it possible for vessels of size to cross the bar at low 
tide. Among those active in preparing documents for Con- 
gress and securing the survey was Judge R. IM. Widney, of 
whose public services mention has been made; while Phineas 
Banning, at his own expense, made trips to Washington in 
behalf of the project. 

A genuine novelty was introduced in 1871, when Downs 
& Bent late in February opened a roller-skating rink at 
Teutonia Hall. Twenty-five cents was charged for admission, 
and an additional quarter demanded for the use of skates. 
Ladies and gentlemen flocked to enjoy the new sensation; a 
second rink was soon opened in Los Angeles and another in 
El Monte ; and among those who became proficient skaters was 
Pancho Coronel, one of the social lions of his day. In time, 
however, the craze waned, and what had been hailed as fash- 
ionable because of its popularity in the great cities of the 
East, lost in favor, particularly among those of social 

In March, a call for a meeting to organize an Agricultural 
Society for the Counties of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San 
Bernardino, Kern and San Diego brought together a large 
number of our citizens. L. J. Rose and his neighbor L. H. 
Titus, Dr. J. S. Griffin, Colonel J. J. Warner, Judge H. K. S. 
O'Melveny, Judge A. J. King, John G. Downey, F. N. Slaugh- 
ter and many others including myself became actively in- 
terested, and then and there started the Southern District 
Agricultural Society which, for years, contributed so much 
to advance the agricultural interests of Southern California. 
Annual trotting races, lasting a week, lent impetus to the breed- 

i87i] The Chinese Massacre 427 

ing of fine stock, for which this part of the State became 
famous. L. J. Rose was the moving spirit in this enterprise; 
and he it was who induced me and other friends to participate. 

Even the first ice machine, in March, did not freeze the 
price below four cents per pound. 

Edited by Henry C. Austin, the Evening Express made its 
first appearance on March 27th. It was started by the printers, 
George and Jesse Yarnell, George A. Tiffany, J. W. Paynter 
and Miguel Verelo; but James J. Ayers — in 1882 State Printer 
— who was one of the founders of the San Francisco Morning 
Call, succeeded Austin in 1875, and then the Yarnells and 
Verelo retired. 

L. V. Prudhomme, better known as Victor Prudhomme — 
a name sometimes, but probably incorrectly, spelled Prudhon — 
who is said to have come from France about the middle of the 
thirties, died here on May 8th. His wife was a Spanish woman 
and for a while they resided on the east side of Main Street 
between Requena and First, not far from my brother's store. 
As a rather active member of the French Colony, he was a 
man in good standing, and was engaged, it seems to me, in the 
wine industry. He also owned some land near San Bernardino 
and was continually visiting that place. 

On May 27th, S. J. Millington, announced as "the pioneer 
dancing master of California," opened a dancing academy at 
Stearns's Hall, and it at once sprang into social favor. He 
had morning classes for children and evening classes for adults. 
I happen to recall the circumstances more clearly for I was 
one of his committee of patrons. Dances, by the way, were 
given frequently, and were often attended in costume and even 
in disguise. I remember such an occasion in the early seventies 
when elaborate toilettes and variety of dress marked an ad- 
vance in these harmless diversions. Conspicuous among the 
guests was John Jones, elderly and seldom given to frivolity, 
who appeared in the character of the Father of his Country. 

In early June, a Chinese junk, cruising in search of abalones, 
attracted no little attention at San Pedro as a primitive and 
clumsy specimen of marine architecture. 

428 Sixty Years in Southern California [1871 

The sudden and abnormal demand for the ahalone shell 
offered such large returns as to tempt men to take desperate 
chances in hunting for them among the rocks. Sometime in 
the seventies, a Chinaman, searching near San Diego, thrust 
his hand into an open shell and the ahalone closed upon his 
wrist with such an irresistible grip that the unfortunate shell- 
hunter was held fast until overtaken by the rising tide and 

For many years Los Angeles booklovers were supplied 
by merchants who sold other things, or who conducted a 
limited loan library in conjunction with their business. Such a 
circulating collection Samuel Hellman displayed in February, 
1871. The first exclusively book and periodical store was 
opened in the same year, by Brodrick & Reilly, adjoining the 
Post Office on Spring street. 

Albert Fenner Kercheval, who took up his residence in 
1 87 1 on the west side of Pearl Street near the end of Sixth, 
on what was formerly known as the Gelcich Place, first came 
to California— Hangtown — in 1849 and experienced much the 
same kind of mining adventure as inspired Bret Harte. On 
his second visit to the Coast, Kercheval raised strawberries 
and early tomatoes, for which he found a ready sale in San 
Francisco ; and in his spare moments he wrote poems — collected 
and published in 1883 under the title of Dolores — some of which 
rather cleverly reflect California life. 

On June 19th, the Teutonia-Concordia society merged 
with the Los Angeles Turnverein, forming the Turnverein- 
Germania; and about the same time, the original home of the 
Verein, a frame building on South Spring Street, was erected. 
In that year, also, the first German school was founded — 
the sessions being conducted at the old Round House. 

Having had no fitting celebration of the Fourth of July for 
years, a number of citizens in 1871 called a meeting to con- 
sider the matter, and A. J. Johnston, L. Lichtenberger, W. H. 
Perry, J. M. Griffith, John Wilson, O. W. Childs and myself 
were appointed to make arrangements. A list of forty or 
fifty leading merchants willing to close their places of business 

3 _^ 

•^ a 



N it) 

a « 

o <j 



i87i] The Chinese Massacre 429 

on Independence Day was drawn up; a program was easily 
prepared; and the music, display of flags and bunting, and the 
patriotic addresses awakened, after such a neglect of the 
occasion, new and edifying emotions. 

Slight regard was formerly paid by officers to the safety or 
life of the Indian, who had a persistent weakness for alcohol; 
and when citizens did attend to the removal of these inebriates, 
they frequently looked to the Municipality for compensation. 
For instance: at a meeting of the Common Council, in July, 
Pete Wilson presented a bill of two dollars and a half ' ' for the 
removal of a nuisance, " which nuisance, upon investigation, 
was shown to have been a drunken squaw whom he had retired 
from the street! The Council, after debating the momentous 
question of reimbursement, finally reached a compromise by 
which the City saved just — twenty-five cents. 

Alexander Bell died on July 24th, after a residence of 
twenty-nine years in Los Angeles. 

Beginning with the seventies, attention was directed to 
Santa Monica as a possible summer resort, but it was some 
years before many people saw in the Bay and its immediate 
environment the opportunities upon which thousands have 
since seized. In the summer of 187 1 less than twenty families, 
the majority in tents, sojourned there among the sycamore 
groves in the Canon where J. M. Harned had a bar and "refresh- 
ment parlor." The attractions of. beach and surf, however, 
were beginning to be appreciated, and so were the opportunities 
for shooting — at Tell's and elsewhere ; and on Sundays two or 
three hundred excursionists frequently visited that neighbor- 
hood, Reynolds, the liveryman, doing a thriving business carry- 
ing people to the beach. 

Speaking of this gradual awakening to the attractions of 
Santa Monica, I recall that school children of the late sixties 
held their picnics at the Canon, going down on crowded stages 
where the choicest seats were on the box ; and that one of the 
most popular drivers of that period was Tommy O'Campo. 
He handled the reins with the dexterity of a Hank Monk, 
and before sunrise Young America would go over to the corral, 

43^ Sixty Years in Southern California I1871 

there to wait long and patiently in order to get an especially 
desirable seat on Tommy's stage. 

With the completion of the Los Angeles & San Pedro Rail- 
road, excursions to Catalina began to be in vogue; but as the 
local population was small, considerable effort was needed some- 
times to secure enough patrons to make the trips pay. Thus 
an excursion for Sunday, August 13th, was advertised by 
the skipper of the steamer Vaquero, a couple of dollars for the 
round trip being charged, with half price for children; but by 
Saturday morning the requisite number of subscribers had not 
been obtained, and the excursion was called off. 

Otto J. and Oswald F. Zahn, sons of Dr. Johann Carl 
Zahn who came here about 1871, were carrier-pigeon fanciers 
and established a service between Avalon and Los Angeles, 
fastening their messages, written on tissue paper, by delicate 
wire to the birds' legs. For some time the Catalina Pigeon 
Messengers, as they were called, left Avalon late in the after- 
noon, after the last steamer, bringing news that appeared in the 
Los Angeles newspapers of the following morning. Usually 
the birds took a good hour in crossing the channel ; but on one 
occasion. Blue Jim, the champion, covered the distance of 
forty-eight miles in fifty minutes. 

On the evening of August 23d, the announcement came 
over the wires of Don Abel Stearns's death in San Francisco, 
at five o'clock that afternoon, at the Grand Hotel. Late in 
October, his body was brought to Los Angeles for final inter- 
ment, the tombstone having arrived from San Francisco a 
week or two previously. Awesome indeed was the scene that 
I witnessed when the ropes sustaining the eight hundred pound 
metallic casket snapped, pitching the coffin and its grim con- 
tents into the grave. I shall never forget the unearthly shriek 
of Dona Arcadia, as well as the accident itself. 

With the wane of summer, we received the startling news 
of the death, through Indians, of Frederick Loring, the young 
journalist and author well known in Los Angeles, who was 
with the United States Exploring Expedition to Arizona as a 
correspondent oi A ppleton's Journal. "Bootless, coatless and 

1871] The Chinese Massacre 431 

everything but lifeless," as he put it, he had just escaped 
perishing in Death Valley, when the stage party was at- 
tacked by Apaches, and Loring and four other passengers were 

In September, during Captain George J. Clarke's adminis- 
tration as Postmaster, foreign money-orders began to be issued 
here for the first time, payable only in Great Britain and Ire- 
land, twenty-five cents being charged for sending ten dollars 
or less; and shortly afterward, international money-orders 
were issued for Germany and some other Continental countries. 
Then five or six hundred letters for Los Angeles County were 
looked upon as rather a large dispatch by one steamer from 
San Francisco and the North; and the canceling of from 
twelve to fifteen dollars' worth of stamps a day was regarded 
as "big business." 

Vincent Collyer — the Peace Commissioner sent out with 
General 0. 0. Howard by the Government in 1868 — who 
eventually made himself most unpopular in Arizona by 
pleading the cause of the scalping Apaches in the fall of 
1 87 1, put up at the Pico House; when public feeling led 
one newspaper to suggest that if the citizens wished "to see a 
monster, " they had "only to stand before the hotel and watch 
Collyer pass to and fro ! " 

In the fall, tidings of Chicago's awful calamity by fire 
reached Los Angeles, but strange to say, no public action was 
taken until the editor of the Los Angeles News, on October 
I2th, gave vent to his feelings in the following editorial: 

Three days ago the press of this City called upon the 
public generally to meet at a stated hour last evening, at the 
County Courtroom, to do something towards alleviating 
the sufferings of the destitute thousands in Chicago. The calam- 
ity which has overtaken that unfortunate City has aroused the 
sympathy of the world, and the heart and pulse of civilized 
humanity voluntarily respond, extending assistance in deeds 
as well as in words. From all parts of the globe, where the 
name of Chicago is known, liberal donations flow into a common 
treasury. We had hoped to be able to add the name of Los 
Angeles among the list, as having done its duty. But in what- 

432 Sixty Years in Southern California [1871 

ever else she may excel, her charity is a dishonorable exception. 
Her bowels are absolute strangers to sympathy, when called 
upon to practically demonstrate it. At the place of meeting, 
instead of seeing the multitude, we were astonished to find but 
three persons, viz: Governor Downey, John Jones, and a 
gentleman from Riverside, who is on a visit here. Anything 
more disgraceful than this apathy on the part of her inhabitants 
she could not have been guilty of. For her selfishness, she 
justly deserves the fearful fate that has befallen the helpless 
one that now lies stricken in the dust. Let her bow down her 
head in shame. Chicago, our response to your appeal is. 
Starve I What do we care ? 

This candid rebuke was not without effect; a committee 
was immediately formed to soHcit contributions from the 
general public, and within an hour a tidy sum had been raised. 
By October i8th the fund had reached over two thousand 
dollars, exclusive of two hundred and fifty dollars given by the 
Hebrew Benevolent Society and still another hundred dollars 
raised by the Jewish ladies. 

About the twenty-first of October a "war" broke out near 
Nigger Alley between two rival factions of the Chinese on ac- 
count of the forcible carrying off of one of the companies' female 
members, and the steamer California soon brought a batch of 
Chinamen from San Francisco, sent down, it was claimed, to 
help wreak vengeance on the abductors. On Monday, October 
23d some of the contestants were arrested, brought before 
Justice Gray and released on bail. It was expected that this 
would end the trouble; but at five o'clock the next day the 
factional strife broke loose again, and officers, accompanied by 
citizens, rushed to the place to attempt an arrest. The Chinese 
resisted and Officer Jesus Bilderrain was shot in the right 
shoulder and wrist, while his fifteen-year-old brother received 
a ball in the right leg. Robert Thompson, a citizen who 
sprang to Bilderrain's assistance, was met by a Chinaman 
with two revolvers and shot to death. Other shots from Chi- 
nese barricaded behind some iron shutters wounded a number 
of bystanders. 

News of the attacks and counter-attacks spread like wild- 

i87i] The Chinese Massacre 433 

fire, and a mob of a thousand or more frenzied beyond control, 
armed with pistols, guns, knives and ropes, and determined to 
avenge Thompson's murder, assembled in the neighborhood of 
the disturbance. While this solid phalanx was being formed 
around Nigger Alley, a Chinaman, waving a hatchet, was seen 
trying to escape across Los Angeles Street ; and Romo Sortorel, 
at the expense of some ugly cuts on the hand, captured him. 
Emil Harris then rescued the Mongolian ; but a detachment of 
the crowd, yelling "Hang him! shoot him!" overpowered Harris 
at Temple and Spring streets, and dragged the trembling wretch 
up Temple to New High street, where the familiar framework 
of the corral gates suggested its use as a gallows. With the 
first suspension, the rope broke; but the second attempt to 
hang the prisoner was successful. Other Chinamen, whose 
roofs had been smashed in, were rushed down Los Angeles 
Street to the south side of Commercial, and there, near Goller's 
wagon shop, between wagons stood on end, were hung. 
Alarmed for the safety of their cook. Sing Ty, the Juan Lan- 
francos hid the Mongolian for a week, until the excitement 
had subsided. 

Henry T. Hazard was lolling comfortably in a shaving 
saloon, under the luxurious lather of the barber, when he heard 
of the riot ; and arriving on the scene, he mounted a barrel and 
attempted to remonstrate with the crowd. Some friends 
soon pulled him down, warning him that he might be shot. A. 
J. King was at supper when word was brought to him that 
Chinese were slaughtering white people, and he responded by 
seizing his rifle and two revolvers. In trying one of the 
latter, however, it was prematurely discharged, taking the 
tip off a finger and putting him Jiors de combat. Sheriff Burns 
could not reach the scene until an hour after the row started 
and many Chinamen had already taken their celestial flight. 
When he arrived, he called for a posse comitatiis to assist him 
in handling the situation; but no one responded. He also 
demanded from the leader of the mob and others that they 
disperse ; but with the same negative result. About that time, 
a party of rioters started with a Chinaman up Commercial 

434 Sixty Years in Southern California [1871 

Street to Main, evidently bent on hanging him to the Tomlin- 
son & Griffith gate; and when Burns promised to attempt a 
rescue if he had but two volunteers, Judge R. M. Widney and 
James Goldsworthy responded and the Chinaman was taken 
from his tormentors and lodged in jail. Besides Judge Widney, 
Cameron E. Thorn and H. C. Austin displayed great courage in 
facing the mob, which was made up of the scum and dregs of 
the city; and Sheriff Burns is also entitled to much credit for 
his part in preventing the burning of the Chinese quarters. 
All the efforts of the better element, however, did not prevent 
one of the most disgraceful of all disturbances which had oc- 
curred since my arrival in Los Angeles. On October 25th, 
when Coroner Joseph Kurtz impanelled his jury, nineteen 
bodies of Chinamen alone were in evidence and the verdict 
was : ' ' Death through strangulation by persons unknown to 
the jury." Emil Harris's testimony at the inquest, that but 
one of the twenty-two or more victims deserved his fate, 
about hits the mark and confirms the opinion that the slight 
punishment to half a dozen of the conspirators was very 

At the time of the massacre, I heard a shot just as I was 
about to leave my office, and learned that it had been fired from 
that part of Chinatown facing Los Angeles Street; and I soon 
ascertained that it had ended Thompson's life. Anticipating 
no further trouble, however, I went home to dinner. When 
I returned to town, news of the riot had spread, and with my 
neighbors, Cameron E. Thorn and John G. Downey, I hurried 
to the scene. It was then that I became an eye-witness to the 
heroic, if somewhat comical parts played by Thom and Burns. 
The former, having climbed to the top of a box, harangued 
the crowd, while the Sheriff, who had succeeded in mounting a 
barrel, was also addressing the tumultuous rabble in an effort 
to restore order. Unfortunately, this receptacle had been coop- 
ered to serve as a container, not as a rostrum ; and the head of 
the cask under the pressure of two hundred pounds or more of 
official avoirdupois suddenly collapsed and our Worthy Guard- 
ian of the Peace dropped, with accelerated speed, clear through 

1871I The Chinese Massacre 435 

to the ground, and quite unintentionally, for the moment at 
least, turned grim tragedy into grotesque comedy. 

Following this massacre, the Chinese Government made 
such a vigorous protest to the United States that the Washing- 
ton authorities finally paid a large indemnity. During these 
negotiations, Chinese throughout the country held lamentation 
services for the Los Angeles victims; and on August 2d, 1872, 
four Chinese priests came from San Francisco to conduct the 

In 1870, F. P. F. Temple, who had seen constructed two 
sections of the building now known as Temple Block, made the 
fatal blunder of accepting the friendly advice that led him to 
erect the third section at the junction of Spring and Main streets, 
and to establish therein a bank under the name of Temple & 
Workman. The building, costing in the neighborhood of one 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars, was all that could have 
been desired, proving by long odds the most ornamental 
edifice in the city; and when, on November 23d, 1871, the bank 
was opened in its comfortable quarters on the Spring Street 
side of the block, nothing seemed wanting to success. The 
furnishings were elaborate, one feature of the office outfit being 
a very handsome counter of native cedar, a decided advance in 
decoration over the primitive bare or painted wood then com- 
mon here. Neither Temple, who had sold his fine ranch near 
Fort Tejon to embark in the enterprise, nor Workman had had 
any practical experience in either finance or commerce ; and 
to make matters worse, Workman, being at that time a very 
old man, left the entire management to his son-in-law, Temple, 
in whom he had full confidence. It soon became evident that 
anybody could borrow money with or without proper security, 
and unscrupulous people hastened to take advantage of the 
situation. In due season I shall tell what happened to this 

In the preceding spring when the Coast-line stage companies 
were still the only rivals to the steamers, a movement favoring 
an opposition boat was started, and by June leading shippers 
were discussing the advisability of even purchasing a competi- 

43^ Sixty Years in Southern California [1871] 

tive steamer ; all the vessels up to that time having been owned 
by companies or individuals with headquarters in the Northern 
metropolis. Matthew Keller was then in San Francisco; 
and having been led to believe that a company could be 
financed, books were opened for subscriptions in Los Angeles, 
Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and elsewhere. For lack of 
the necessary support, this plan was abandoned; but late in 
July a meeting was held in the Bella Union to further consider 
the matter. Among those present was George Wright, long 
engaged in coast shipping ; and he proposed to sell the control 
of the Olympia. 

H. Newmark & Company being considerably interested in 
the movement, declared themselves ready to cooperate in 
improving the situation; for which reason great surprise was 
expressed when, in December, 1871, B. L. Peel, the commission 
merchant, made an attack on us, openly charging that, although 
"the largest shippers in the city," we had revoked our pledge 
to sustain the opposition to high freight rates, and so had con- 
tributed toward defeating the enterprise! It is true that we 
finally discouraged the movement, but for a good and sufficient 
reason: Wright was in the steamship business for anything 
but his health. His method was to put on a tramp steamer 
and then cut passenger and freight rates ridiculously low, 
until the regular line would buy him out; a project which, on 
former occasions, had caused serious disturbances to business. 
When therefore Wright made this offer, in 1871, H. Newmark 
& Company forthwith refused to participate. I shall show 
that, when greater necessity required it, we took the lead in 
a movement against the Southern Pacific which, for lack of 
loyalty on the part of many of the other shippers, met not 
only with disastrous failure but considerable pecuniary loss to 

On December i8th, 1871, Judge Murray Morrison died. 
Three days later, his wife, Jennie, whom we knew as the attrac- 
tive daughter of Dr. Thomas J. White, also breathed her last. 



AS already stated, the price of wool in 1871 was exceedingly 
high and continued advancing until in 1872 when, as 
a result, great prosperity in Southern California was 
predicted. Enough wool had been bought by us to make what 
at that time was considered a very handsome fortune. We 
commenced purchasing on the sheep's back in November, 
and continued buying everything that was offered until April, 
1872, when we made the first shipment, the product being sold 
at forty-five cents per pound. As far as I am aware, the price 
,of wool had never reached fifty cents anywhere in the world, 
it being ordinarily worth from ten to twelve cents ; and without 
going into technicalities, which would be of no interest to the 
average reader, I will merely say that forty-five cents was a tre- 
mendously high figure for dirty, burry, California wool in the 
grease. When the information arrived that this sale had been 
effected, I became wool-crazy, the more so since I knew that 
the particular shipment referred to was of very poor quality. 

Colonel R. S. Baker, who was living on his ranch in Kern 
County, came to Los Angeles about that time, and we offered 
him fifty cents a pound for Beale & Baker's clip amounting to 
one hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds. His reply 
was that it would be impossible to sell without consulting 
Beale; but Beale proved as wool-crazy as I, and would not sell. 
It developed that Beale & Baker did not succeed in effecting 


438 Sixty Years in Southern California [1872- 

a sale in San Francisco, where they soon offered their product, 
and that they concluded to ship it to Boston ; the New England 
metropolis then, as now, being the most important wool- 
center in the United States. Upon its arrival, the wool was 
stored; and there it remained until, as Fate would have it, the 
entire shipment was later destroyed in the great Boston fire 
of 1872. As a result of this tremendous conflagration, the 
insurance company which carried their policy failed and 
Beale & Baker met with a great loss. 

The brothers Philip, Eugene and Camille Gamier of the 
Encino Ranch — who, while generally operating separately, 
clubbed together at that time in disposing of their product — 
had a clip of wool somewhat exceeding one hundred and 
fifty thousand pounds. The spokesman for the three was 
Eugene, and on the same day that I made Colonel Baker 
the offer of fifty cents, I told Eugene that I would allow him 
forty-eight and a half cents for the Gamier product. This 
offer he disdainfully refused, returning immediately to his 
ranch; and now, as I look back upon the matter, I do not 
believe that in my entire commercial experience I ever wit- 
nessed anything demonstrating so thoroughly, as did these 
wool transactions, the monstrous greed of man. The sequel, 
however, points the moral. My offer to the Gamier Brothers 
was made on a Friday. During that day and the next, we 
received several telegrams indicating that the crest of the 
craze had been reached, and that buyers refused to take hold. 
On Monday following the first visit of Eugene Gamier, he again 
came to town and wanted me to buy their wool at the price 
which I had quoted him on Friday; but by that time we had 
withdrawn from the market. My brother wired that San Fran- 
cisco buyers would not touch it ; hence the Gamier Brothers also 
shipped their product East and, after holding it practically 
a full year, finally sold it for sixteen and a half cents a pound 
in currency, which was then worth eighty-five cents on the 
dollar. The year 1872 is on record as the most disastrous wool 
season in our history, when millions were lost ; and H. Newmark 
• & Company suffered their share in the disaster. 

x873] The Wool Craze 439 

It was in March that we purchased from Louis Wolf- 
skill, through the instrumentality of L. J. Rose, the Santa 
Anita rancho, consisting of something over eight thousand 
acres, paying him eighty-five thousand dollars for this beau- 
tiful domain. The terms agreed upon were twenty thousand 
dollars down and four equal quarterly payments for the 
balance. In the light of the aftermath, the statement that 
our expectations of prospective wool profits inspired this pur- 
chase seems ludicrous, but it was far from laughable at the 
time; for it took less than sixty days for H. Newmark & Com- 
pany to discover that buying ranches on any such basis was 
not a very safe policy to follow and would, if continued, result 
in disaster. Indeed, the outcome was so different from our 
calculations, that it pinched us somewhat to meet our obliga- 
tions to Wolfskin. This purchase, as I shall soon show, proved 
a lucky one, and compensated for the earlier nervous and 
financial strain. John Simmons, who drove H. Newmark & 
Company's truck and slept in a barn in my backyard on Main 
Street, was so reliable a man that we made him overseer of the 
ranch. When we sold the property, Simmons was engaged 
by Lazard Freres, the San Francisco bankers, to do special 
service that involved the carrying of large sums of money. 

When we bought the Santa Anita, there were five eucalyptus 
or blue gum trees growing near the house. I understood at 
the time that these had been planted by William Wolfskill from 
seed sent to him by a friend in Australia; and that they were 
the first eucalyptus trees cultivated in Southern California. 
Sometime early in 1875, the Forest Grove Association started 
the first extensive tract of eucalyptus trees seen in Los 
Angeles, and in a decade or two the eucalyptus had become 
a familiar object; one tree, belonging to Howard & Smith, 
florists at the corner of Olive and Ninth streets, attaining, ' after 
a growth of nineteen years, a height of one hundred and thirty- 
four feet. 

On the morning of March 26th, Los Angeles was visited 
by an earthquake of sufficient force to throw people out of bed, 

' Blown down, in a wind-storm, on the night of April 13th, 1915. 

440 Sixty Years in Southern California [1872- 

many men, women and children seeking safety by running out 
in their night-clothes. A day or two afterward excited riders 
came in from the Owens River Valley bringing reports which 
showed the quake to have been the worst, so far as loss of life 
was concerned, that had afflicted CaHfornia since the mem- 
orable catastrophe of 18 12. 

Intending thereby to encourage the building of railroads, the 
Legislature, on April 4th, 1870, authorized the various Boards 
of Supervisors to grant aid whenever the qualified voters so 
elected. This seemed a great step forward, but anti-railroad 
sentiment, as in the case of Banning's line, again manifested 
itself here. The Southern Pacific, just incorporated as a 
subsidiary of the Central Pacific, was laying its tracks down the 
San Joaquin Valley; yet there was grave doubt whether it 
would include Los Angeles or not. It contemplated a line 
through Tehachepi Pass; but from that point two separate 
surveys had been made, one by way of Soledad Pass via Los 
Angeles, through costly tunnels and over heavy grades; the 
other, straight to the Needles, over an almost level plain along 
the Thirty-fifth parallel, as anticipated by WiUiam H. Seward 
in his Los Angeles speech. At the very time when every 
obstacle should have been removed, the opposition so crystal- 
lized in the Legislature that a successful effort was made to 
repeal the subsidy law; but thanks to our representatives, the 
measure was made ineffective in Los Angeles County, should 
the voters specifically endorse the project of a railroad. 

In April, 1872, Tom Mott and B. D. Wilson wrote Leland 
Stanford that a meeting of the taxpayers, soon to be called, 
would name a committee to confer with the railroad officials; 
and Stanford replied that he would send down E. W. Hyde to 
speak for the company. About the first of May, however, a few 
citizens gathered for consultation at the Board of Trade room; 
and at that meeting it was decided unanimously to send to 
San Francisco a committee of two, consisting of Governor 
Downey and myself, there to convey to the Southern Pacific 
Company the overtures of the City. We accordingly visited 
Collis P. Huntington, whose headquarters were at the Grand 

1873] The Wool Craze 441 

Hotel ; and during our interview we canvassed the entire situa- 
tion. In the course of this interesting discussion, Huntington 
displa^^ed some engineer's maps and showed us how, in his 
judgment, the railroad, if constructed to Los Angeles at all, 
would have to enter the city. When the time for action 
arrived, the Southern Pacific built into Los Angeles along the 
lines indicated in our interview with Huntington. 

On Saturday afternoon, May i8th, 1872, a public meeting 
was held in the Los Angeles Court-house. Governor Downey 
called the assembly to order; whereupon H. K. S. O'Melveny 
was elected President and Major Ben C. Truman, Secretary. 
Speeches were made by Downey, Phineas Banning, B. D. 
Wilson, E. J. C. Kewen and C. H. Larrabee; and resolutions 
were adopted pledging financial assistance from the County, 
provided the road was constructed within a given time. A 
Committee was then appointed to seek general information con- 
cerning railroads likely to extend their lines to Los Angeles ; and 
on that Committee I had the honor of serving with F. P. F. 
Temple, A. F. Coronel, H. K. S. O'Melveny, J. G. Downey, S. B. 
Caswell, J. M. Griffith, Henry Dalton, Andres Pico, L. J. Rose, 
General George Stoneman and D. W. Alexander. A few days 
later, Wilson, Rose and W. R. Olden of Anaheim were sent 
to San Francisco to discuss terms with the Southern Pacific; 
and when they returned, they brought with them Stanford's 
representative, Hyde. Temple, O'Melveny and I were made a 
special committee to confer with Hyde in drawing up ordinances 
for the County; and these statutes were immediately passed 
by the Supervisors. The Southern Pacific agreed to build 
fifty miles of its main trunk line through the County, with a 
branch line to Anaheim ; and the County, among other condi- 
tions, was to dispose of its stock in the Los Angeles & San 
Pedro Railroad to the Southern Pacific Company. 

When all this matter was presented to the people, the oppo- 
sition was even greater than in the campaign of 1868. One 
newspaper — the Evening Express — while declaring that "rail- 
way companies are soulless corporations, invariably selfish, 
with a love for money," even maintained that "because they 

442 Sixty Years in Southern California I1872- 

are rich, they have no more right to build to us than has 
Governor Downey to build our schoolhouses." Public ad- 
dresses were made to excited, demonstrative audiences by 
Henry T. Hazard, R. M. Widney and others who favored the 
Southern Pacific. On the evening of November 4th, or the 
night before the election, the Southern Pacific adherents held 
a torchlight procession and a mass-meeting, at the same time 
illuminating the pueblo with the customary bonfires. When 
the vote was finally counted, it was found that the Southern 
Pacific had won by a big majority; and thus was made the 
first concession to the railroad which has been of such para- 
mount importance in the development of this section of the 

In 1872, Nathaniel C. Carter, who boasted that he made for 
the Government the first American flag woven by machinery, 
purchased and settled upon a part of the Flores rancho near 
San Gabriel. Through wide advertising, Carter attracted 
his Massachusetts friends to this section; and in 1874 he 
started the Carter excursions and brought train-loads of people 
to Los Angeles. 

Terminating a series of wanderings by sea and by land, 
during which he had visited California in 1849, John Lang, 
father of Gustav J. (once a Police Commissioner), came to Los 
Angeles for permanent residence in 1872, bringing a neat little 
pile of gold. With part of his savings he purchased the five 
acres since known as the Laurel Tract on Sixteenth Street, where 
he planted an orchard, and some of the balance he put into a 
loan for which, against his will, he had to take over the lot on 
Spring Street between Second and Third where the Lang Build- 
ing now stands. Soon after his advent here, Lang found himself 
one of four persons of the same name, which brought about such 
confusion between him, the pioneer at Lang's Station and two 
others, that the bank always labelled him "Lang No. i," while 
it called the station master "Lang No. 2." In 1866, Lang 
had married, in Victoria, Mrs. Rosine Everhardt a sister of 
Mrs. Kiln Messer; and his wife refusing to live at the lonesome 
ranch, Lang bought, for four hundred dollars, the lot on Fort 

i873l The Wool Craze 443 

Street on which Tally's Theater now stands, and built there a 
modest home from which he went out daily to visit his orchard. 
Being of an exceedingly studious turn of mind, Lang devoted 
his spare time to profitable reading ; and to such an extent had 
he secluded himself that, when he died, on December 9th, 1900, 
he had passed full thirty years here without having seen Santa 
Monica or Pasadena. Nor had he entered the courtroom more 
than once, and then only when compelled to go there to release 
some property seized upon for taxes remaining unpaid by one 
of the other John Langs. Regarded by his family as ideal- 
istic and kind-hearted, John Lang was really such a hermit 
that only with difficulty were friends enough found who could 
properly serve as pall-bearers. 

On June 2d, B. F. Ramirez and others launched the 
Spanish newspaper, La Cronica, from the control of which 
Ramirez soon retired to make way for E. F. de Celis. Under 
the latter's leadership, the paper became notable as a Coast 
organ for the Latin race. Almost simultaneously, A. J. Kang 
and A. Waite published their City Directory. 

On the seventeenth of July our family circle was gladdened 
by the wedding festivities of Kaspare Cohn and Miss Hulda, 
sister of M. A. Newmark. The bride had been living with us 
for some time as a member of our family. 

I have spoken of the attempt made, in 1859, to found a 
Public Library. In 1872, there was another agitation that led 
to a mass-meeting on December 7th, in the old Merced Theatre 
on Main Street ; and among others present were Judge Ygnacio 
Sepulveda, General George H. Stoneman, Governor John G. 
Downey, Henry Kirk White Bent, S. B. Caswell, W. J. Brod- 
rick, Colonel G. H. Smith, W. B. Lawlor and myself. The Los 
Angeles Library Association was formed; and Downey, Bent, 
Brodrick, Caswell and I were appointed to canvas for funds 
and donations of books. Fifty dollars was charged for a 
life membership, and five dollars for yearly privileges; and 
besides these subscriptions, donations and loans of books main- 
tained the Library. The institution was established in four 
small, dark rooms of the old Downey Block on Temple and 

444 Sixty Years in Southern California [1872- 

Spring streets, where the Federal Building now stands, and where 
the Times, then the youngest newspaper in Los Angeles, was 
later housed; and there J. C. Littlefield acted as the first Libra- 
rian. In 1874, the State Legislature passed an enabling act for 
a Public Library in Los Angeles, and from that time on public 
funds contributed to the support of the worthy undertaking. 

On January ist, 1873, M. A. Newmark, who had come to 
Los Angeles eight years before, was admitted into partnership 
with H. Newmark & Company; and three years later, on 
February 27th, he married Miss Harriet, daughter of J. P. 
Newmark. Samuel Cohn having died, the associates then 
were: Kaspare Cohn, M. J. Newmark, M. A. Newmark and 

On February ist, 1873, two job printers, Yarnell & Caystile, 
who had opened a little shop at 14 Commercial Street, began 
to issue a diminutive paper called the Weekly Mirror, with 
four pages but ten by thirteen inches in size and three columns 
to the page; and this miniature news-sheet, falhng wet from the 
press every Saturday, was distributed free. Success greeted 
the advertising venture and the journal was known as the 
smallest newspaper on the Coast. A month later, William 
M. Brown joined the firm, thenceforth called Yarnell, Caystile 
& Brown. On March 19th, the publishers added a column to 
each page, announcing, rather prophetically perhaps, their 
intention of attaining a greatness that should know no obstacle 
or limit. In November, the Mirror was transferred to a build- 
ing on Temple Street, near the Downey Block, erected for its 
special needs; and there it continued to be published until, in 
1887, it was housed with the Times. 

Nels WiUiamson, to whom I have referred, married a native 
Calif ornian, and their eldest daughter, Mariana, in 1873 
became the wife of Antonio Franco Coronel, the gay couple 
settling in one of the old pueblo adobes on the present site of 
Bishop & Company's factory; and there they were visited by 
Helen Hunt Jackson when she came here in the early eighties. 
In 1 886, they moved opposite to the home that Coronel built 
on the southwest corner of Seventh Street and Central Avenue. 


1873] The Wool Craze 445 

Educated here at the public and the Sisters' schools, Mrs. 
Coronel was a recognized leader in local society, proving very 
serviceable in the preparation of Ramona and receiving, in 
return, due acknowledgment from the distinguished authoress 
who presented her with the first copy of the book published. 

Daniel Freeman, a Canadian who came in 1873, was one of 
many to be attracted to California through Nordhoff's famous 
book. After looking at many ranches. Freeman inspected the 
Centinela with Sir Robert Burnett, the Scotch owner then 
living there. Burnett insisted that the ranch was too dry for 
farming and cited his own necessity of buying hay at thirty 
dollars a ton ; but Freeman purchased the twenty-five thousand 
acres, stocked them with sheep and continued long in that busi- 
ness, facing many a difficulty attendant upon the dry seasons, 
notably in 1875-76, when he lost fully twenty-two thousand 

L. H. Titus, who bought from J. D. Woodworth the land 
in his San Gabriel orchard and vineyard, early used iron water- 
pipes for irrigation. A bold venture of the same year was the 
laying of iron water-pipes throughout East Los Angeles, at 
great expense, by Dr. John S. Griffin and Governor John G, 
Downey. About the same time, the directors of the Orange 
Grove Association which as we shall later see founded Pasadena, 
used iron pipe for conducting water, first to a good reservoir 
and then to their lands, for irrigating. In 1873 also, the 
Alhambra Tract, then beginning to be settled as a fashionable 
suburb of Los Angeles, obtained its water supply through the 
efforts of B. D. Wilson and his son-in-law, J. De Barth Shorb, 
who constructed large reservoirs near the San Gabriel Mission, 
piped water to Alhambra and sold it to local consumers. 

James R. Toberman, destined to be twice rechosen Mayor 
of Los Angeles, was first elected in 1873, defeating Crist6bal 
Aguilar, an honored citizen of early days, who had thrice been 
Mayor and was again a candidate. Toberman made a record 
for fiscal reform by reducing the City's indebtedness over thirty 
thousand dollars and leaving a balance of about twenty-five 
thousand in the Treasury; while, at the same time, he caused 

44^ Sixty Years in Southern California [1872- 

the tax-rate during his administration to dwindle, from one 
dollar and sixty cents per hundred to one dollar. Toberman 
Street bears this Mayor's name. 

In 1873, President Grant appointed Henry Kirk White 
Bent, who had arrived in 1868, Postmaster of Los Angeles. 

The several agitations for protection against fire had, for a 
long time no tangible results — due most probably to the lack of 
water facilities ; but after the incorporation of the Los Angeles 
Water Company and the introduction of two or three hydrants, 
thirty-eight loyal citizens of the town in April organized 
themselves into the first volunteer fire company, popularly 
termed the 38 's, imposing a fee of a dollar a month. Some of 
the yeomen who thus set the ball a-rolling were Major Ben C. 
Truman, Tom Rowan, W. J. Brodrick, Jake Kuhrts, Charley 
IMiles, George Tiffany, Aaron Smith, Henry T. Hazard, Cameron 
E. Thom, Fred Eaton, Alatthew Keller, Dr. J. S. Crawford, 
Sidney Lacey, John Cashin and George P. McLain; and such 
was their devotion to the duty of both allaying and producing 
excitement, that it was a treat to stand by the side of the dusty 
street and watch the boys, bowling along, answer the fire-bell 
— the fat as well as the lean hitched to their one hose-cart. This 
cart, pulled by men, was known as the jumper — a name widely 
used among early volunteer firemen and so applied because, when 
the puffing and blowing enthusiasts drew the cart after them, by 
means of ropes, the two-wheeled vehicle jumped from point to 
point along the uneven surface of the road. The first engine of 
the 38's, known as Fire Engine No. i, was housed, I think, 
back of the Pico House, but was soon moved to a building on 
Spring Street near Franklin and close to the City Hall. 

About 1873, or possibly 1874, shrimps first appeared in the 
local market. 

In 1873, the Los Angeles Daily News suspended publication. 
A. J. King had retired on the first of January, 1870, to be suc- 
ceeded by Charles E. Beane; on October loth, 1872, Alonzo 
Waite had sold his interest and Beane alone was at the helm 
when the ship foundered. 

To resume the narrative of the Daily Star. In July, Henry 

1873] The Wool Craze 447 

Hamilton sold both the paper and the job-printing office for 
six thousand dollars to Major Ben C. Truman, and the 
latter conducted the Star for three or four years, filling it 
brimful of good things just as his more fiery predecessor had 

John Lang — "number two " — the cultivator of fruit on what 
was afterward Washington Gardens, who established Lang's Sta- 
tion and managed the sulphur springs and the hotel there, in 
July killed a bear said to have been one of the grizzliest grizzlies 
ever seen on the Coast. Lang started after Mr. Bruin and, 
during an encounter in the San Fernando range that nearly cost 
his life, finally shot him. The bear tipped the beam — forbid it 
that anyone should question the reading of the scales ! — at two 
thousand, three hundred and fifty pounds; and later, as gossip 
had it, the pelt was sold to a museum in Liverpool, England. 
This adventure, which will doubtless bear investigation, recalls 
another hunt, by Colonel William Butts, later editor of the 
Southern Calijornian, in which the doughty Colonel, while rolling 
over and over with the infuriated beast, plunged a sharp blade 
into the animal's vitals; but only after Butts's face, arms and 
legs had been horribly lacerated. Butts's bear, a hundred 
hunters in San Luis Obispo County might have told you, 
weighed twenty-one hundred pounds — or more. 

Dismissing these bear stories, some persons may yet be 
interested to learn of the presence here, in earlier days, of the 
ferocious wild boar. These were met with, for a long time, 
in the wooded districts of certain mountainous land-tracts 
owned by the Abilas, and there wild swine were hunted as late 
as 1873. 

In the summer, D. M. Berry, General Nathan Kimball, 
Calvin Fletcher and J. H. Baker came to Los Angeles from 
Indianapolis, representing the California Colony of Indiana, a 
cooperative association which proposed to secure land for 
Hoosiers who wished to found a settlement in Southern Cali- 
fornia. This scheme originated with Dr. Thomas Balch Elliott 
of Indianapolis, Berry's brother-in-law and an army surgeon 
who had established the first grain elevator in Indiana and 

448 Sixty Years in Southern California [1872- 

whose wife, now ill, could no longer brave the severe winters of 
the middle West. 

Soon after their arrival, Wall Street's crash brought ruin to 
man}^ subscribers and the members of the committee found them- 
selves stranded in Los Angeles. Berry opened a real estate 
office on Main Street near Arcadia, for himself and the absent 
ElHott; and one day, at the suggestion of Judge B. S. Eaton, 
Baker visited the San Pasqual rancho, then in almost primeval 
glory, and was so pleased with what he saw that he per- 
suaded Fletcher to join Dr. ElHott, Thomas H. Croft of 
Indianapolis and himself in incorporating the San Gabriel 
Orange Grove Association, with one hundred shares at two 
hundred and fifty dollars each. The Association then bought 
out Dr. J. S. Griffin's interest, or some four thousand acres in 
the ranch, paying about twelve dollars and a half per acre, 
after which some fifteen hundred of the choicest acres were 
subdivided into tracts of from fifteen to sixty acres each. 

The San Pasqual settlement was thus called for a while 
the Indiana Colony, though but a handful of Hoosiers had 
actually joined the movement; and Dr. and Mrs. Elliott, reach- 
ing Los Angeles on December 1st, 1874, immediately took 
possession of their grant on the banks of the Arroyo Seco near 
the Fremont Trail. On April 226., 1875, The Indiana Colony 
was discontinued as the name of the settlement; it being seen 
that a more attractive title should be selected. Dr. Elliott 
wrote to a college-mate in the East for an appropriate Indian 
name ; and Pasadena was adopted as Chippewa for ' ' Crown of 
the Valley." Linguists, I am informed, do not endorse the 
word as Indian of any kind, but it is a musical name, and now 
famous and satisfactory. Dr. ElHott threw aU his energy into 
the cultivation of oranges, but it was not long before he saw, 
with a certain prophetic vision, that not the fruit itself, but the 
health-giving and charming qualities of the San Pasqual cli- 
mate were likely to prove the real asset of the colonists and the 
foundation of their prosperity. Pasadena and South Pasadena, 
therefore, owe their existence largely to the longing of a frail 
Indiana woman for a less rigorous climate and her dream that 

1873] The Wool Craze 449 

in the sunny Southland along the Pacific she should find health 
and happiness. 

M. J. Newmark was really instrumental, more than any- 
one else, in first persuading D. M. Berry to come to California. 
He had met Berry in New York and talked to him of the 
possibility of buying the Santa Anita rancho, which we were 
then holding for sale ; and on his return he traveled homeward 
by way of Indiana, stopping off at Indianapolis in order to 
bring Berry out here to see the property. Owing to the high 
price asked, however, Berry and his associates could not ne- 
gotiate the purchase, and so the matter was dropped. 

Lawson D. Hollingsworth and his wife, Lucinda, Quakers 
from Indiana, opened the first grocery at the crossroads in the 
new settlement, and for many years were popularly spoken of 
as Grandpa and Grandma Hollingsworth. Dr. H. T. Hollings- 
worth, their son, now of Los Angeles, kept the Post Office in the 
grocery, receiving from the Government for his services the 
munificent sum of — twenty-five cents a week. 

The summer of 1873 was marked by the organization of a 
corporation designed to advance the general business interests 
of Los Angeles and vicinity. This was the Chamber of Com- 
merce or, as it was at first called, the Board of Trade ; and had 
its origin in a meeting held on August 1st in the old Court- 
House on the site of the present Bullard Block. Ex-Governor 
John G. Downey was called to the chair; and J. M. Griffith was 
made Secretary pro tern. Before the next meeting, over one 
hundred representative merchants registered for membership, 
and on August 9th, a constitution and by-laws were adopted, 
a board of eleven Directors elected and an admission fee of five 
dollars agreed upon. Two days later, the organization was 
incorporated, with J. G. Downey, S. Lazard, M. J. Newmark, 
H. W. Hellman, P. Beaudry, S. B. Caswell, Dr. J. S. Griffin, 
R. M. Widney, C. C. Lips, J. M. Griffith and I. W. Lord, as 
Directors ; and these officers chose Solomon Lazard as the first 
President and I. W. Lord as the first Secretary. Judge 
Widncy's office in the Temple Block was the meeting-place. 
The Chamber unitedly and enthusiastically set to work to 

450 Sixty Years in Southern California [1872- 

push forward the commercial interests of Southern California; 
and the first appropriation by Congress for the survey and 
improvement of San Pedro Harbor was effected mainly through 
the new society's efforts. Descriptive pamphlets setting forth 
the advantages of our locality were distributed throughout the 
East ; and steps were taken to build up the trade with Arizona 
and the surrounding territory. In this way the Chamber of 
Commerce labored through the two or three succeeding years, 
until bank failures, droughts and other disasters, of which I 
shall speak, threw the cold blanket of discouragement over 
even so commendable an enterprise and for the time being 
its activities ceased. 

On October 3d, C. A. Storke founded the Daily and Weekly 
Herald, editing the paper until August, 1874 when J. M. 
Bassett became its editor. In a few months he retired and 
John M. Baldwin took up the quill. 

In the autumn of 1873, Barnard Brothers set in operation 
the first woolen mill here, built in 1868 or 1869 by George 
Hansen and his associates in the Canal and Reservoir Com- 
pany. It was located on the ditch along the canon of the 
Arroyo de Los Reyes — now Figueroa Street; and for fifteen 
years or more was operated by the Barnards and the Coulters, 
after which it was turned into an ice factory. 

In March of the preceding year, I sent my son Maurice 
to New York, expecting him there to finish his education. 
It was thought best, however, to allow him, in 1873, to pro- 
ceed across the ocean and on to Paris where he might also 
leam the French language, at that time an especially valuable 
acquisition in Los Angeles. To this latter decision I was led 
when Zadoc Kahn, Grand Rabbi of Paris and afterward Grand 
Rabbi of France, and a brother-in-law of Eugene Meyer, 
signified his willingness to take charge of the lad ; and for three 
years the Grand Rabbi and his excellent wife well fulfilled 
their every obligation as temporary guardians. How great 
an advantage, indeed, this was will be readily recognized by 
all familiar with the published life of Zadoc Kahn and his 
reputation as a scholar and pulpit orator. He was a man 

x873l The Wool Craze 451 

of the highest ideals, as was proved in his unflinching activity, 
with Emile Zola, in the defense and liberation of the long- 
persecuted Dreyfus. 

Sometime in December, L. C. Tibbetts, one of the early 
colonists at Riverside, received a small package from a friend 
at Washington, D. C, after having driven sixty-five miles to Los 
Angeles to get it; and he took it out of the little express office 
without attracting any more attention than to call forth the 
observation of the clerk that some one must care a lot about 
farming to make so much fuss about two young trees. '"Tis 
nothing, says the fool!" The package in question contained 
two small orange trees from Bahia, Brazil, brought to the 
United States by the Agricultural Department and destined 
to bestow upon Tibbetts the honor of having originated the 
navel orange industry of California. 

In 1873, Drum Barracks at Wilmington were offered by the 
Government at public auction; and what had cost a million 
dollars or so to install, was knocked down for less than ten 
thousand dollars to B. D. Wilson, who donated it for 
educational purposes. 

During the winter of 1873-74, ^^e Southern Pacific com- 
menced the construction of its Anaheim branch; and the first 
train from Los Angeles to the thriving, expectant German 
settlement made the run in January, 1875. 

Max Cohn, a nephew, arrived in Los Angeles in 1873 and 
clerked for H. Newmark & Company for a number of years. 
In t)ecember, 1885, when I retired from the wholesale grocery 
business, Max became a full partner. In 1888, failing health 
compelled him, although a young man, to seek European 
medical advice ; and he entered a sanatorium at Falkenstein, in 
the Taunus Mountains where, in 1889, he died. 



ALTHOUGH a high school had been proposed for Los 
Angeles as early as i860, it was not until 1873, during 
Dr. W. T. Lucky's superintendency and under his 
teaching, that high-school courses were inaugurated here. 
Then the more advanced students were accommodated in the 
schoolhouse on Pound Cake Hill, where the Court-house now 
stands ; and from this humble beginning the present high-school 
system of Los Angeles has been evolved. Later, under Dr. T. 
H. Rose's leadership, the grammar departments were removed 
to the other school buildings and the High School was conducted 
as an independent institution. 

In 1874, S. Lazard & Company dissolved, Eugene and 
Constant Meyer succeeding, on June 15th, under the firm 
name of Eugene Meyer & Company or, as the store was better 
known, the City of Paris. 

Charles H., or Charley White, long prominent in the 
passenger department of the Southern Pacific, entered the 
service of the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad in 1874, as 
John Milner's assistant, and soon became the regular ticket- 
agent here. After forty years of invaluable service, he is still 
with the Southern Pacific occupying the important position of 
Chief Clerk of the General Passenger Office. 

George H. Peck, County Superintendent of Schools be- 
tween 1874 and 1876, was a Vermonter who came in 1869 
and bought five hundred acres of land near El Monte. On his 


Vasquez and his Captors 

Walter E. Rodgers. 

G. A. Beers. 

Tibtircio Vasquez, 
J. S. Bryant. 


Greek George 

Nicol&s Martinez 

[i874] The End of Vasquez 453 

first visit to the Coast, Peck handled hay in San Francisco 
when it was worth two hundred dollars a ton ; then he mined a 
little; and subsequently he opened the first public school in 
Sacramento and the first industrial school in San Francisco. 

Andrew A. Weinschank, a veteran of the Battle of Vera 
Cruz who came to Los Angeles in 1856, died on February i6th, 
1874. For a while, he sold home-made sauerkraut, pickles and 
condiments, and was one of a well-known family in the German 
pioneer group here. Carrie, one of Weinschank 's daughters, 
married a circus man named Lee who made periodical visits to 
Los Angeles, erecting a small tent, at first somewhere in the 
neighborhood of the present Times Building, in which to con- 
duct his show. Later, Polly Lee became a rider in the circus 
and with her father electrified the youth of the town when Lee, 
in the character of Dick Turpin, and mounted on his charger, 
Black Bess, carried off the weeping Polly to his den of free- 
booters. A son, Frank A. Weinschank, was a pioneer plumber. 

In the early seventies, while the Southern Pacific Railway 
was building from San Francisco to San Jose, some twelve or 
fifteen bandits, carousing at a country dance in the Mexican 
settlement, Panama (about six miles south of Bakersfield) 
planned to cross the mountains and hold up the pay-car. They 
were unsuccessful; whereupon, they turned their attention to 
the village of Tres Pinos, robbed several store-keepers and 
killed three or four men. They were next heard of at little 
Kingston, in Tulare County, where they plundered practically 
the whole town. Then they once more disappeared. 

Presently various clues pointed to the identity of the chief 
bandido as one Tiburcio Vasquez, born in Monterey in the 
thirties, who had taken to the life of an outlaw because, as he 
fantastically said, some Gringos had insolently danced off with 
the prettiest girls 3.t fandangos, among them being his sweet- 
heart whom an American had wronged. With the exception of 
his Lieutenant, Chavez, he trusted no one, and when he 
moved from place to place, Chavez alone accompanied him. 
In each new field he recruited a new gang, and he never slept 
in camp with his followers. 

454 Sixty Years in Southern California [1874 

Although trailed by several sheriffs, Vasquez escaped to 
Southern California leading off the wife of one of his associ- 
ates — a bit of gallantry that contributed to his undoing, as 
the irate husband at once gave the officers much information 
concerning Vasquez' s life and methods. One day in the 
spring of 1874, Vasquez and three of his companions appeared 
at the ranch of Alessandro Repetto, nine miles from town, 
disguised as sheep-shearers. The following morning, while the 
inmates of the ranch-house were at breakfast, the highwaymen 
entered the room and held up the defenceless household. 
Vasquez informed Repetto that he was organizing a revolution 
in Lower California and merely desired to borrow the trifling 
sum of eight hundred dollars. Repetto replied that he had no 
money in the house; but Vasquez compelled the old man to 
sign a check for the sum demanded, and immediately dis- 
patched to town a boy working for Repetto, with the strict 
injunction that if he did not return with the money alone, and 
soon, his master would be shot. 

When the check was presented at the Temple & Workman' 
Bank, Temple, who happened to be there, became suspicious 
but could elicit from the messenger no satisfactory response 
to his questions. The bank was but a block from the Court- 
house ; and when Sheriff Rowland hurriedly came, in answer to 
a summons, he was inclined to detain the lad. The boy, how- 
ever, pleaded so hard for Repetto's life that the Sheriff agreed 
to the messenger's returning alone with the money. Soon 
after, Rowland and several deputies started out along the 
same trail; but a lookout sighted the approaching horsemen 
and gave the alarm. Vasquez and his associates took to 
flight and were pursued as far as Tejunga Pass; but as the cut- 
throats were mounted on fresh horses, they escaped. Even while 
being pursued, Vasquez had the audacity to fleece a party of 
men in the employ of the Los Angeles Water Company who 
were doing some work near the Alhambra Tract. The well- 
known Angeleno and engineer in charge, Charles E. Miles, was 
relieved of an expensive gold watch. 

In April, 1874, Sheriff Rowland heard that Vasquez 

1874] The End of Vasquez 455 

had visited the home of "Greek George" — the Smyrniot 
camel-driver to whom I have referred — and who was Hving 
about ten miles from Los Angeles, near the present location of 
Hollywood. Rowland took into his confidence D. K. Smith 
and persuaded him to stroll that way, ostensibly as a farmer's 
hand seeking employment ; and within two weeks Smith reported 
to Rowland that the information as to Vasquez 's whereabouts 
was correct.